YANKTON, S.D. (KCAU) – A bridge on Highway 50, east of Yankton, has a new name.
The new name is in honor of South Dakotan Sergeant who made the ultimate sacrifice.
Sgt. Allen D. Kokesh Jr. died as a result of wounds suffered in a 2005 attack in Baghdad.
His family said he’s always at the forefront of their mind. Now, his memory will live on for others to see.
The South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs, the Department of Transportation, and the governor held a state bridge dedication ceremony to honor him.
“He gave the ultimate sacrifice for our state and nation, and so we are honoring and recognizing those sacrifices not only of the soldier but also the family that has endured this hardship,” said Greg Whitlock.
Sgt. Allen D. Kokesh Jr. Memorial Bridge is what people will see passing through Highway 50, crossing the James River.
Kokesh’s sister, Katrianna, said she drives over the bridge at least three times a week. Now, she’ll have an added reminder that her brother’s name will continue to live on.
“We are remembering our lost family member that other people also can relate to what they’ve been through and that there are people out there for them to talk to and that their family member is also remember by not only them, but others as well,” said Katrianna Kokesh.
Greg Whitlock with the South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs said this is a way for South Dakota to recognize and honor fallen heroes alongside family, friends, and the community.