The Sioux Falls Parks and Recreation Board has approved the placement of a statue in Veterans Memorial Park that would honor those in Sioux Falls who have died in combat.
The artwork would be a 10-foot copy of the "Going Home" statue on display in the city's Sculpture Walk tour. The statue portrays an angel carrying a fallen soldier to heaven. It was done by Nebraska artist Sondra Jonson.
The statue has special meaning for the family of Staff Sgt. Robb Rolfing, an Army Green Beret who was killed by small-arms fire June 30 in Baghdad. The family walked by the statue after eating dinner downtown at the same moment when Rolfing was dying of his wounds.
The statue was on display at Rolfing's funeral at the Sioux Falls Arena.
The display would include the insignias of all military services, as well as a reflection area with park benches.
T.J. Rolfing, Robb's brother, said the statue would "memorialize the men and women who gave their lives," not only Robb.
"I love the design," board member Michelle Erpenbach said. "I think we've made a good choice here."
Robb's father, Rex Rolfing, said he's eager to begin raising money for the project. The sculpture will take about a year to complete.
Rex Rolfing hopes to have it dedicated by Memorial Day 2009.
The final approval for the project rests with Mayor Dave Munson and the City Council. A decision could come in the next couple weeks.
Reach Jonathan Ellis at 575-3629.
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