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MITCHELL, S.D. (AP) — A popular corn-themed tourist attraction in southeast South Dakota will serve as a monument to the military for one year.

The theme for Mitchell’s 2019 Corn Palace murals will be “A Salute to the Military,” the Daily Republic reported .

“Obviously the military is why we have our freedom, so I can’t think of a better opportunity to celebrate those freedoms, especially in coordination with the USS South Dakota,” said Scott Schmidt, director of the palace. “Sometimes we take for granted the reasons we have the freedoms that we do, and it’s because of the people that put their lives on the line. To be able to celebrate that today and with next year’s murals, I thought it was the perfect fit.”

Schmidt said the mural theme was revealed earlier than usual this year to coincide with the USS South Dakota submarine crew’s visit to the state. The crew was also in attendance for the announcement.

The Corn Palace’s walls will feature a military theme for the first time since 1916, which Schmidt said is timely with the Oct. 14 christening of the submarine.

The Corn Palace bills itself as the world’s only palace dedicated to the commodity. It features murals made of hundreds of thousands of ears of corn and draws about 200,000 tourists each year.

South Dakota Lt. Gov. Matt Michels commended the Corn Palace and city of Mitchell for “revitalizing” the city’s main attraction, and thanked them for highlighting the importance of the military.


Information from: The Daily Republic,