Thousands Gather for Funeral of Firefighter Steven Ackerman

Steven Ackerman died in a Brandon fire last Sunday night, reports

On Sunday, thousands of people gathered for his funeral and to lead him to his final resting place.

Firefighter Among Two Dead in South Dakota Fire

“None of us will ever forget what happened on April 12,” said Mike Harstad, a friend of Steven Ackerman.

Harstad says the events that unfolded on the night of April 12 were a collective nightmare.

While many are grieving over the loss of Ackerman, Harstad says there is more than just sorrow in the wake of his death.

“There is valor, there is virtue and there is honor,” said Harstad.

Thousands gathered at Brandon Valley High School to pay their respects to the fallen firefighter during his funeral: family, friends, fellow Valley Springs firefighters, teammates, neighbors, politicians, and fire departments from all across South Dakota and surrounding states.

Harstad said, “It’s testimony not only to the popularity of Steve Ackerman, but to the high esteem in which he is held.”

Harstad says the large turnout is also a testimony to the high esteem in which people hold firefighters in general.

“It means a lot to us that we could come up and show support to Steve and his family and other firefighters, and know that their sacrifice isn’t gone without being noticed,” said Chief Bill Pappas of the North Sioux City Fire Department.

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