I was so disappointed in Cecilia Vega’s “Rise and Shine” segment on South Dakota that aired on “Good Morning America” during the space flight on Tuesday July 20.

Vega, chief white house correspondent for ABC News, was assigned to discuss the unique qualities that define South Dakota. Vega said she “did the complex history that is Mount Rushmore and this land and getting into the debate on what should happen to monuments in our country as our country is going through this reckoning about monuments and the history of them. And we talked to Native American people who live in this area whose history is very complicated.” The segment fixated on “West River.”

South Dakota is so much more than that. Living in “East River,” I can tell you that it is an amazing place to live or visit, with strong ties to agricultural, manufacturing and tourism sectors that all blend well together.

The next time you eat bread or cake, cuddle up in your warm wool blanket on a cold night, or eat beef or corn, think about the agricultural sector of South Dakota. When you build or remodel your house/business, think about the manufacturing sector of South Dakota. I bet you never knew our state was capable of producing so much for the United States, as it ranks as 47th state by population.

We even have religious organization that came here to flee from persecution such as: the Amish communities, Hutterite colonies and Mennonite Churches. We also have beautiful lakes and campgrounds (such as Lewis and Clark State Campground in Yankton). This was the birthplace of “Little House on the Prairie” (in De Smet), Crazy Horse Memorial, Minuteman missile National Historic Site, Mammoth Site (in Hot Springs), Dignity Sculpture and Fort Sisseton Historic State Park just to name a few places of interest we offer in this state. By the way we have many well-preserved Victorian homes and historical buildings in many of our cities that one can view.

After seeing her video on the internet, I can tell you that Cecilia had very little knowledge about the state of South Dakota.

(1) comment


What a thoughtful letter. We do have so much going for us in this beautiful state. Sad that too many recognize most of the midwest as fly over country.

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