SD Vietnam War Memorial Dedication Please Support the Memorial Soldiers, Heroes, and teachers information




Big Kenny and John Rich, better known as the country music sensation “Big and Rich,” joined Gov. Dennis Daugaard on August 16th to announce they will be performing their new single, 8th of November, during the Vietnam War Memorial Dedication.

 “We are honored to have Big and Rich come to Pierre and perform a truly special song which recognizes the service and sacrifice of our Vietnam Veterans,” said Gov. Rounds on the announcement. 

 The song was written to honor Niles Harris, a South Dakota Vietnam veteran, who currently lives in Deadwood. Niles was a 19 year old private in the 173rd Airborne Brigade who was shot in a firefight on November 8, 1965; during his first tour of Vietnam.  Every year on Nov. 8, Niles drinks a toast to honor those lost that day, as well as all who serve in the US armed forces.

Big & Rich met Niles in Deadwood where they became friends.  Niles gave Big Kenny the top hat he still wears.  They have become friends, and accompanied Niles to Vietnam where he buried his boots at the battle site.

 “We’re gonna be real proud to be part of the dedication,” said Big Kenny.  “They (veterans) never got a homecoming they deserved.”

 Big and Rich will perform the song during the 2 p.m. (CT) dedication ceremony, Saturday, Sept. 16 in Pierre. 

Big Kenny is wearing the yellow bandana;, John Rich is wearing a blue hat; and South Dakota Vietnam Veteran Niles Harris is wearing a camouflage jacket.


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Photos courtesy of the U.S. Army, the National Archives and Records Administration,
the Dedication Committee, and veterans who have submitted their photos for use
in conjunction with the Vietnam War Memorial Dedication.