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Family, friends and community members come together for bridge dedication ceremony

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"Rich would be smiling right now."

Brooks Schild

YANKTON, S.D. (KTIV) -- Family and friends said Richard Schild left a hole in the community after his death in Iraq in 2005.

Now, the Highway 50 westbound bridge between Yankton and Vermilion will forever hold his memory as the "Rich Schild Memorial Bridge."

"Anything we can do, like I said, to try to keep Rich's memory alive. You know it's been 15 years. For us, it's been yesterday. So, it's kind of nice to have something that we revisit this and remember that Rich gave his life in defense of our county," said Brooks Schild, Richard's brother.

Brooks Schild said he's appreciative of everyone who came out in support.

"It's nice that we can memorialize that and name something after him that people will remember. Every time people drive over that bridge they're going to remember Rich. They'll think of a story, they'll think of something they did with him. He touched a lot of lives in our community," said Schild.

Greg Whitlock, South Dakota Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary, said it's nice to be able to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

"It's just a great program, I believe that we've started and it just helps remembering those veterans," said Greg Whitlock.

Schild added although it rained throughout the ceremony, it was what Richard would have wanted.

"Rich was, he was a task guy, so if he has something going on or something we needed to do he'd be doing it. So, he'd be saying, 'Okay. Now build a bridge, get over it and get back to work.' You know, that's what he'd be telling us. That was the kind of guy he was. If you guys are gonna be out here dedicating a bridge to me, you're going to be out in the rain because that's just how it is," said Schild.

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Emily Schrad

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