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Senators like idea of 'Dignity' plates

PIERRE -- A state lawmaker wants South Dakota motorists to drive with Dignity on their cars and "in their hearts." Senators voted 35-0 Wednesday for legislation that would give vehicle owners the option of license plates showing the new Dignity s...

A crowd gathers before a ceremony in honor of the "Dignity" statue at the Chamberlain rest area on Saturday. (Evan Hendershot/Republic)
A crowd gathers before a ceremony in honor of the "Dignity" statue at the Chamberlain rest area on in 2016. The Dignity statue is being discussed as an option to be placed on South Dakota license plates. (Evan Hendershot/Republic)

PIERRE - A state lawmaker wants South Dakota motorists to drive with Dignity on their cars and "in their hearts."

Senators voted 35-0 Wednesday for legislation that would give vehicle owners the option of license plates showing the new Dignity statue.

The sculpture, a Native American woman 50 feet tall receiving a star quilt, stands at the Interstate 90 rest stop at Chamberlain overlooking the Missouri River.

Sen. Troy Heinert, D-Mission, is prime sponsor of the SB 118. The measure now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

Heinert, a member of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, said he wanted to share the message behind Dignity with the rest of the country.

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Sen. Brock Greenfield, R-Clark, congratulated Heinert after the vote and said he recently stopped to see the statue for the first time.

"I was in awe," Greenfield said.

Sturgis artist Dale Lamphere designed and built the stainless steel statue. The funding came from Norm and Eunabel McKie of Rapid City. It was erected in September.

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