Once Built to Divide, Now Unites
South Dakota is home to the Black Hills, numerous Indian Casinos, Mount Rushmore, the largest tyrannosaurus fossil ever found, and the lowest income taxes in the country. It is also the new home for a piece of the famed Berlin Wall. Memorial Park in Rapid City, South Dakota is now the permanent home to a section of the Berlin Wall which is now on display.
The Berlin Wall was the defining image of an entire generation. It symbolized the separation of a free West Germany and a communist controlled East Germany. The wall separated light from dark, hope from fear, and freedom from oppression. It now resides practically in the shadow of one of America's most enduring national monuments, Mt. Rushmore.
The South Dakota School of Mines and Technology rented an exhibit called, "Break Through: Fight for Freedom at the Berlin Wall'' in October of 1996. The exhibit was drew a large audience and people began to unite in order to purchase two large pieces of the Berlin Wall for SD.
Two large slabs of the wall were obtained and the difference between the graffiti laden side that faced West Germany and the drab industrial side that faced East Germany could not have been more apparent. Two tank traps, which look like three foot high iron X's were placed in front of the wall sections to symbolize the cold war which the Berlin Wall had come to represent.
The exhibit is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. In fact, after spending time at the exhibit, many tourists may be moved to make the transition to that of full time resident.
South Dakota is home to nearly 760,000 full time residents. The per capita personal income is slightly above $27,000 dollars per year. Residents earn this income primarily working in retail, finance, healthcare, the tourism industry, and agriculture.
Purchasing a home in South Dakota will cost about $147,000 dollars according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This makes home ownership very possible for the residents of South Dakota. According to the Heritage Foundation South Dakota's public schools ranked tenth in the nation in the ALEC national achievement rating, this rates the overall performance of a state's school system.
The Berlin Wall in SD is a monument not only to the fact that communism was defeated in Germany, but to the dedication and hard work South Dakotans put into purchasing and relocating the sculpture to Memorial Park.