78th Rally Begins in

Military Appreciation Day

Each year during the Sturgis® Motorcycle Rally™, the City of Sturgis designates a special day to honor our military who have and are currently serving to assure we have the freedoms that we treasure.  This year, the City of Sturgis is proud to set aside Tuesday, August 8th as Military Appreciation Day. 


At 2:00pm, the City of Sturgis will be hosting a reception at the conclusion of the Dakota thunder Run at the VIP Hospitality Center at 1544 Lazelle Street to honor WWII Veteran and Pearl Harbor survivor Stan Lieberman. At the conclusion everyone will go to Main Street to await the B-1 flyover at 3:00pm. 



-Adlai Stevenson


Stan Lieberman

Stan Lieberman, born 100 years ago on July 16, 1917, is one of two remaining Pearl Harbor attack survivors living in South Dakota.  Stan was attending training as a photographer at Wheeler Field when the Japanese attacked Hawaii.  On December 7, 1941, he awoke at 0740 to an explosion across the street from his barracks as the first bombs were dropped by the Japanese.  Until this point, the 24-year old private in the Army Air Corps had never fired a weapon.  He picked up a .50-calibur machine gun and began firing at the Japanese aircraft.  After overheating the weapon, Stan received a 1903 Springfield rifle and fired several shots at the bombing aircraft.  On December 9, 1941, Stan was ordered to grab his camera equipment and board a B-18 aircraft which flew him over Pearl Harbor for 3 hours while he photographed the wreckage below. 

December 7, 1941 was the last day of combat for Stan.  He was transferred stateside in 1943 and eventually to Rapid City Army Air Base, which is now Ellsworth AFB.  Stan separated from the military in 1945 a Staff Sergeant and spent the rest of his life in Rapid City where he became an excellent shot hunting in the Black Hills, met his late wife Delphie Cuny, and has remained to this day.  Since separating from the military, Stan has spent his time selling ads for KOTA, becoming active with youth baseball where he hired legendary baseball coach David Ploof, and served one year on the South Dakota Game, Fish and parks Commission. 


For information on the DAKOTA THUNDER RUN, please visit the "GREEN KNIGHTS ELLSWORTH AFB" Facebook page.






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1040 Harley-Davidson Way
Sturgis, South Dakota 57785