Travelers along Highway 18, in southern South Dakota, are talking about and appreciating what is being called The Star Valley Patriot Hill project. The project is the brainchild of Carl Koenig of Fairfax, South Dakota. Koenig's daughter Sheryl Koenig wrote in a Facebook post;
Dad put up the kneeling soldier silhouette and he did some rock work landscaping.
If you’re driving Hwy 18: 10miles east of Fairfax, South Dakota or 12 miles west of the Ft. Randall Dam or 1/2 mile west of the 18/281 Junction going into Spencer, Nebraska you can see the display.
I did a little digging and messaged Sheryl and she pointed me in the direction of her Father. I gave him a call, he quickly called back told me the story of what they are calling Star Valley Patriot Hill.
Carl Koenig started out by saying, he came up with the idea late one night, did some designing, and had a friend cut the silhouettes out of steel for the project. He said:
If you look closely you see a cross at the top of the flag pole. The display signifies God above Nation, above the State of South Dakota, then looking down over the soldiers, saluting the flag and the fallen soldier.
Koenig isn't a vet himself, said he has a deep respect and appreciation for both military and law enforcement and has plans for additions to the display which would salute local law enforcement as well. While working on landscaping for the project, he mentioned receiving numerous honks from passers-by and has already heard from appreciative military members.
The display utilizes solar energy so nighttime travelers can see it at night.
Star Valley is the name of the Township in Gregory County where the display (located on private property) is located.
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