Fighting Stallions Memorial
Fighting Stallions Memorial was constructed by the people of
South Dakota as a lasting memorial to eight South Dakotans who
perished in an airplane crash on April 19, 1993. The state plane,
N86SD, crashed due to propeller assembly failure in poor weather
on a farm near Dubuque, Iowa.
Sound clip of
Governor Walter D. Miller's speech at the dedication of this
memorial. (1.01 mb, 55 sec.).
A view the stallions from a farther distance
Four state employees, the Governor, and three Sioux Falls
corporate leaders were on
an economic development mission to save the largest agricultural
processing employer in South Dakota. The memorial contains tributes to each as
Former Governor George S. Mickelson
South Dakota was just a century old
a new leader emerged.
Eyes sparkling with vision, he embraced life.
His smile created instant friendships,
his devotion to family inspired.
With limitless energy and genuine compassion,
he challenged us to realize bigger dreams.
George Mickelson made a difference.
Program Manager / Chief Pilot
South Dakota Aviation Services
Ron was happiest in serving,
always helping people by doing
whatever needed to be done.
He was a cheerful and gentle man
whose love for his family inspired others.
He was a meticulous professional who loved flying
and making good things happen.
Roland Dolly Commissioner
Governor's Office of Economic Development
With half his journey of life complete
His honor, duty, and sage thoughtful tongue
Neither man nor muse can scarce repeat
This glorious legacy of short life well done
State Pilot of South Dakota
His love for God, family and country
and the thrill of flight created his quiet
professionalism and inspiring humility. All who knew
Dave saw an aura of bravery, respect, and honesty. In
his eyes, there was always a smile for everyone, and a
wink for those he loved.
"You have not lived until you've
almost died. For those who fight for it, life has a
flavor the protected will never know."
Ron Reed Commissioner
Governor's Office of Energy Policy
Ron was the true character of South
Dakota -- loving husband, devoted father and always the
lively, upbeat leader who was enthusiastically dedicated
to public service and ever true to his friends. A
driving force behind economic development and energy
efficiency, he gave his time, talents, and eventually
his life to improve lives of others.
Angus Anson General Manager & Chief
Northern States Power - South Dakota
His values were as conservative as the
South Dakota prairies that he loved. A quiet confidence
and genuine concern for others earned him their respect.
May the faith in God and the solace of the open prairie
sustain his vision of a better South Dakota.
David S. Birkeland President & CEO
First Bank of South Dakota
His smile invited conversation, his
manner put strangers at ease, his style engendered trust
and his humor broke down barriers. Dave was always there
for others -- his family, his church, his community, his
college, his employees, his business. He was a servant
leader whose example was an expression of his spirit.
...a man for all seasons.
Roger Hainje President
Sioux Falls Development Foundation
Roger's integrity and intelligence
opened closed doors. His quick sense of humor
entertained and inspired. His persevering efforts
created immeasurable prosperity for so many. His efforts
inspired the work that made Sioux Falls #1 in America.
He was as refreshing and straight-forward as the great
South Dakota outdoors he loved.
"Fighting Stallions" is enlarged in bronze from the
1935 mahogany carving by South Dakota sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski. The sculpture was
selected because it symbolically represents South Dakota's
struggle to overcome adversity, desire for achievement and
courage to believe in the future. It is a tribute to those who
have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Fighting Stallions memorial was authorized and funded by the
special session of the 68th session of the South Dakota
legislature. In addition, hundreds of South Dakotans
volunteered labor, materials, and monetary contributions to the
completion of this project.