Bridge dedicated to Yankton fallen soldier
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A bridge between Vermillion and Yankton is now dedicated to a military man who dedicated his life to his country.
Friend’s and family of Richard Schild gathered in Yankton Saturday morning for the bridge dedication.
Sergeant First Class Richard Schild lost his life fighting for his country in Iraq in 2005, now 15 years later he’s being remembered every time a car crosses the James River on its way to Yankton.
Rich Schild’s brother Brooks said, “So to be able to have a bridge for Rich who was killed in action, our family is so humbled but honored to be able to have something that every time people drive over that they are going to think of Rich.”
Many of Schild’s family members were in attendance Saturday morning.
The dedication is part of a Fallen Heroes Program led by the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs.
“We name bridges after service members that are killed in combat, so it recognizes their service and it also gives family members remembrance and to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” said Secretary of S.D. Department of Veterans Affairs Greg Whitlock.
The westbound Bridge on Highway 50 just outside of Yankton will now be the Richard Schild Memorial Bridge, and as cars pass and see the sign, his family’s message is simple.
“'Thank you' I hope they are saying. 'Thank you Sergeant First Class Rich Schild for giving me the privilege to be an American.” Brooks Schild added, “They can drive anywhere they want to in the United States, nobody is restricting them. They can say what they want to say, do what they want to do for the most part and guys like Rich and all the ones before him and all the ones that fought beside him have given the people in this country that right to do that.”
Next month, the eastbound bridge at that same spot is set to be dedicated to another fallen soldier that died in the same accident as Schild did.
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