1972 Flood service gives Rapid City community hope

It’s the culmination of what’s been an emotional but uplifting weekend designed to remember the 1972 flood.

The Black Hills community has come together to learn how to cope and to give hope to future generations. That was the message of Sunday’s 40th anniversary memorial ceremony.

Former mayor Don Barnett, who was mayor in 1972, offered words of encouragement to those who lost so much four decades ago.

“We learned that 40–years ago, brick and mortar solution were much easier to invest and build than the issues of monumental sadness,” Barnett said.

A sadness that at times throughout the service as clearly visible. Such as when Pastors Ron and LaVonne Masters recalled how two of their children were carried away by the flood waters.

“Unbeknown to us, the dam had burst and by the time we got to the middle of the bridge our vehicle lifted off,” said Pastor Ron Masters.

On Sunday, 238 roses placed in vases, lined the Civic Center stage, honoring all who perished. Sunday’s ceremony was also a time for the Rapid City community to remember.

“I believe that’s the challenge that faces us today to help us become a beacon of hope to the unknown years ahead,” said speaker Monsignor William O’Connell.

A challenge some hope will withstand the test of time. So that similar to the stories, the hope will be passed on from generation to generation.

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