By Jill Pertler
I’ve been moving slowly during the last few days. My steps are labored, my movements deliberate. My muscles ache in places I never knew muscles existed. I am bruised. I am sore. I am on vacation. Lots of people think vacations are supposed to be relaxing. Actually, the term “relaxing vacation” is often an oxymoron because when you are shelling out big bucks at a resort or amusement park to make sure you and your family have a good time, you want to get your money’s worth. So what do you do? You overdo. You work muscles not in use since you tried out for the gymnastics team back in eighth grade. And then, your body pays for your indulgence and you ache. For me, this journey started on a Jet Ski.
Every year, thousands of visitors come to Pierre to enjoy all that our Capital City has to offer. Every South Dakotan can be proud of the State Capitol Building, which has been beautifully restored and maintained. The Capitol grounds are also impressive, especially in the summer, with the Fighting Stallions Memorial and the veterans’ memorials along Capitol Lake. The Cultural Heritage Center provides an opportunity to learn about the history of our state. South Dakotans may not be aware of a new attraction that is being added to our Capital City – the Trail of Governors. This project combines art and history, and is placing life-sized bronze statues of every former South Dakota governor in Pierre, on a trail connecting the downtown business district with the Capitol grounds.
Most of us really should stop more often to say thanks to those responsible for things we appreciate. For example, at the top of my list are our local EMTs, including the three young men who recently passed all their tests to become certified emergency medical technicians: Robert Martian, Steven Karbowski, and Kyle Nilson. They are now on the ambulance service roster. Hurrah! Five others who took the class last winter and spring have passed the practical exam and are studying for the written test.
I remember the day we bought her first car. It was promoted as being the best-selling vehicle in the U.S. that year and came complete with a flashy red body and a yellow roof. We brought it home and it sat on the driveway pristinely clean, with that new car smell and all. It was a cute little coupe, with room for just two – passenger and driver. In a word, cozy. There wasn’t any horsepower to speak of. More like foot power, Flintstone-style. She could barely see over the steering wheel and her feet could just reach the ground to push the little plastic car along the driveway.
In the medical profession we often have to face suicide casualties. The victim and the family generally come to the emergency room, one by ambulance, and the others to the waiting room. There, one of us ends up talking with the family, people wrought with terrible anguish and guilt, even though the family may have done all they could to prevent it. In situations like these I find myself overwhelmed with feelings of tragedy and sadness, and often angry at the suicide victim for causing such grief for the ones who really loved him or her. I have two examples.
Late into the evening on July 22, 2015, a young woman arrived in the Emergency Room of the Indian Health Service hospital in Rosebud. She was having contractions – each about two and a half minutes apart. The baby was coming. Still, nursing staff allowed the young woman to leave and use the rest room. Minutes later, her boyfriend started yelling from the bathroom. He needed a doctor. The baby had been born on the floor. The infant was not initially breathing. His color was “dusky.” Once a nurse entered the bathroom, the baby was scooped up and run into a nearby room where they were able to start his breathing. It’s a horrifying story, as told in a recent government review of the hospital. What’s more – it’s happened before.
I’ve been contemplating character lately. Not as it pertains to Mickey or Donald. I’m referring to character – as in what you stand for as a human being. To a large extent, your character defines who you truly are. And whether it is good or bad, strong or weak, your character is built over time through the actions and decisions you make. As a mom, I think about the character of my kids. It’s important to most of us moms and dads. And, although our kids may not ponder it as deeply as we do, it’s important to them as well.
Don’t let the headline mislead you. We aren’t changing to a Monday paper or dropping “Sparks from Firesteel.” We are just doing a little remodeling. When Jim and Mary Byington, the publishers of the paper from 1946 to 1980, got a new press in 1965, they had to open up the south wall of the building to get the old press out and the new one in. They decided it was a good time to add on to the building so they went next door and bought nine feet of land from Ted Stanek, who owned the implement dealership that was located where the museum is now.
The following is a statement from Harold C. Frazier, Chairman of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe: It is with great disappointment I address the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). I will start by making it clear that I oppose and condemn the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The opinion of the members has been voiced by Tribal Resolution 324-2015 CR opposing the construction of any portion of the DAPL.
Memorial Day stands as a solemn American tradition that honors the sacrifices of past generations. Memorial Day is a day we dedicate to those who fell in defense of the ideals, beliefs, and values we hold sacred. As a nation we need to remember these heroes and their sacrifice. We must remember what they did, why they did it, and appreciate what it means to us personally and as a nation.