Memorial Day Remembering Death by Celebrating Lives

How can we honor veterans on Memorial Day? Just ask Red Wilk of Huron, South Dakota.


Memorial Day is an important time for Americans to remember our veterans and those who have served our country. It is also an opportunity to honor those loved ones who have gone before us.

Once again this year the heart of the Bull Bash will be Red Wilk’s American Hero Award ceremony, at an extraordinary intermission rite honoring veterans of Viet Nam, Desert Storm, Freedom, and Global War on Terrorism, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom. The Mayor of Huron, Attorney General Marty Jackley and United States Senator Mike Rounds have both participated as presenters.

Under the clear skies and bright stars of Middle America, not only does Red Wilk bring World class bull riders and elite bucking bulls to open the South Dakota State Fair, he produces an intermission ceremony honoring Veterans that quiets everyone in the stands, on the grounds, behind the bucking chutes, and Tuff Hedeman.

“This event is one of the great moments for me during the year, to meet the veterans selected as American Hero’s is an honor I look forward to in Huron.. The stories that are read about their service to our country puts life in perspective and we all thank Red Wilk for sharing the opportunity to witness and participate,” said Tuff Hedeman.  

The magic created by Red Wilk and his team is simple, he remembers death by celebrating lives. The American Hero Award ceremony has become an extraordinary intermission rite. Bringing in a wooden floor to allow wheelchairs and seating for the recipients and honorees, Red leaves no detail to chance, including honoring competing bull rider, Juan Alonzo, who is a veteran of the U.S. Army.

If you have not been, the intermission is worth the price of admission. Members of South Dakota's National Guard present the flag while Taps is played to honor America's fallen at the break of the Red Wilk Construction Bull Bash each year. With thousands of people in the grandstands, elite bull riders standing at attention, and even the bulls staying quiet for the invited elected official and Red to present a commissioned flag that has flown over the White House and a commerative coin to a group of men who served their country in a way only a few will ever experience.   

While who and how many veterans will be honored this August is still under wraps at the Red Wilk Construction office for later announcement, we would be amiss if we did not thank and honor Red Wilk. Tuff Hedeman Bull Riding Tour is proud to partner on the presentation of the upcoming Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash in Huron, South Dakota (August 29, 30) with such a great man of honor, Red Wilk.

Tickets on Sale for the Red Wilk Construction Tuff Hedeman Bull Bash on sale June 11.