Day 50 – Bismarck, N Dakota – Pierre, SD

July 26, 2010   Monday

Today was the scheduled personalized flag presentation at the state capitol for 130pm. I was called first thing this morning by the local news and drove down early to the statehouse for an interview. Following the interview, which is posted below, Reggie and I went to visit his local state senator Tracy Potter. Since the legislature is out of session, we needed to reach out individually. We then made it over to Delegate George Keiser’s office and I felt as if we had North Dakota well in hand. It was time for the ceremony and we headed to the Pioneer room.

I was truly humbled as we were met with a flag line of PGR inside the entrance of the room. Inside were many Gold Star families and friends as well as local lawmakers, veterans  and military. It was wonderful to spend time with the families and get to know them a little and learn more about their sons. It is always my honor to add more great people to my list of friends. Just before the ceremony who should arrive but the governor himself. We had been told he was unavailable but his schedule shifted and he honored these families by participating.

The Governor had some inspiring words for the group and he mentioned each Gold Star family and their sons by name. Afterwords Col Wabdama also spoke and Sen Tracy Potter presented me with a special state flag that was flown over the capitol on the day of the memorial dedication of the GWOT on 9/11 last year. It was also flown on a motorcycle for the veterans ride on that day. This was a very special flag owned by Reggie and Pam and will be treasured.

The Governor joined me by reading the certificate and the special personalized flag presentation was made to Dina and Dennis Ferderer in tribute to their son DJ. It was my honor to reach out and touch the lives of this precious family and I hope that others in this state will soon be honored.

Here is some of the coverage from the weekend in North Dakota.

http://www.bismarcktribune.com/news/local/article_aa6fff24-904b-11df-994f-001cc4c002e0.html

http://www.kxnet.com/video.asp?ArticleId=607309&VideoId=37981

http://www.kqcd.com/News_Stories.asp?news=41805

After the ceremony headed to the next stop Pierre, CD. Along the 4 hour route a very large rock tried to make it way into the drivers side windshield. A softball size fracture that I will need to fix very soon.

A few days ago I was contacted by Lance, an American Legion Rider in South Dakota. He asked me about my route thru the state and invited me to come to Rapid City on my way to Cheyenne.  Subsequently. I had little planned in Pierre so decided to take him up on the offer. yesterday Dennis Edwards called from the ALRs and said they were riding up to Pierre to escort me to Rapid City. This was a 4 hour drive for them.  So tonight when I pulled into the state capitol of SD, four american legion riders were there to greet me. These 4 would become very close friends as they began to plan my visit for the next 36 hours.  Overnighted in the parking lot of the comfort inn.

Tomorrow: Visit state capitol of South Dakota

Blessings, George

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