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Special flag to raise funds for Remember Rally

Julie Buntjer/Daily Globe Remember Rally organizer Diane Sherwood (right), along with her sister, Sandi Schroeder of Keenesburg, Colo., hold a flag printed with the names of all those who died as a result of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Nearly 3,000 names are displayed on the flag, which will be auctioned as a fundraiser for the Remember Rally.

LUVERNE -- The eighth annual Remember Rally is just around the corner and, for the second time since Sept. 11, 2001, the motorcycle run and fundraiser will be on the actual anniversary of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil.

Diane Sherwood of Luverne founded the Remember Rally in 2002. Each year, the motorcycle ride takes place on the Saturday closest to Sept. 11.

This year, in addition to the ride, the Rally will include an auction of sorts for a 4- by 6-foot American flag imprinted with the names of all those who have died as a result of the terrorist attacks. The list is complete through Sept. 11, 2003, and includes the names of nearly 3,000 people.

The flag was donated to the Remember Rally by the South Dakota Patriot Guard as a way to help raise funds for a healing sanctuary.

Sherwood has been developing plans for the sanctuary since the inception of the Remember Rally in hopes of creating a place where people suffering from exposure to toxins can find specialized treatment. A site has been selected in the Black Hills of South Dakota, though the land has yet to be purchased.

"This is why we have to keep raising awareness about what we're doing," said Sherwood. "I believe the right person is out there that can help."

Residents and rescue workers were exposed to an unknown number of chemicals and toxins following the terrorist attacks in New York City. Sherwood said thousands of people are now sick and hundreds of rescue workers have died as a result of their exposure.

Sherwood's dream of a Healing Sanctuary includes a facility that is LEED certified and will offer specialists in cardiology, pulmonology, ENT, massage and nutrition.

A considerable amount of money needs to be raised, however, before Sherwood's dream can become a reality. For the past eight years, donations have been collected during the Remember Rally. Now, she is working on another angle -- increasing awareness in South Dakota for the facility.

The first in a series of town hall meetings will be on Tuesday in Sioux Falls, where Sherwood will speak with doctors and nurses about her proposal. The project has the support of the South Dakota Nurses Association, and Sherwood has already met with contractors and engineers in the Black Hills regarding the sanctuary.

As word spreads about the proposal, Sherwood hopes more donations will pour in.

"We're just starting to get funds," she said, adding that the next expense is to complete soil testing on the 100-plus acre property in the Black Hills.

This year's Remember Rally begins with registration at 11 a.m. Sept. 11, at the Howling Dog Saloon in Luverne. The ride will depart at 12:30 p.m., and travel down Main Street in Luverne before leaving town for its first stop in Adrian. Other stops on the route have yet to be determined. There is a per-rider charge to participate in the event.

People wishing to bid on the flag may do so by calling Sherwood at (507) 283-4194 or e-mailing A starting bid of $100 has already been submitted. Bids will be taken through the Remember Rally, with the winning bid to be announced at the conclusion of the motorcycle ride -- approximately 7 p.m. Sept. 11, at the Howling Dog Saloon in Luverne.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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