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Remembering George McGovern

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Hundreds of people made their way to the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls Friday, to attend the funeral for George McGovern.

KDLT took a look back on all the people we spoke to in the past couple of weeks, who said McGovern has had a huge impact on their life.

The list of people and organizations goes on and on, from Vice President Joe Biden, to Feeding South Dakota and Dakota Wesleyan University and it’s clear McGovern will always have a place in many people's hearts.

"I admired him from the day I became aware of him, until the day he died," said Biden.

Vice President Joe Biden, took a break from campaigning to pay his respects at a prayer service on Thursday that honored George McGovern.

"Where I come from, the question is, how could you not be here. How could you not be here for a man that did so much for so many people," said Biden.

Former Democratic Representative Stephanie Herseth, said there's one thing McGovern wasn't, selfish.

"It wasn’t about him, it was about the causes that brought people together, people with talent and energy to encourage people to commit themselves to making a difference," said Herseth.

These causes included McGovern's world movement to put food on the table for those hungry.

Which groups such as Feeding South Dakota, said McGovern's advocacy work and leadership would forever be appreciated.

“His legacy with our organization is that he is a huge advocate and worked hard to talk about the issue of hunger, create awareness about the issue of hunger and let individuals know that it is a solvable issue," said Kerri DeGraff.

A message that also touched the heart of a junior studying at Dakota Wesleyan University, who said McGovern stopped by a world hunger community awareness walk in Mitchell a year ago and gave her words of encouragement she says she'll never forget.

"World peace a noble goal but probably never going to happen, but we can world hunger," said Breanna Clark.

Clark along with the rest of the Dakota Wesleyan University will see McGovern's name on buildings and will walk by his statues day-after-day.

"He's been such a part of our lives over the years, he was a student here, he was a professor here and of course he was very involved when he was in the U.S. Senate and running for president," said Dr. Donald Simmons, executive director of the McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service.

The President of Dakota Wesleyan University, Robert Duffet, agreed and said he'll always admire McGovern's mental power.

"George was an exceedingly bright man, this was a gift from birth, yet he developed this gift by reading and writing, two habits that sharpened the intellect," said Duffet.

Even bookstores around Sioux Falls, said carrying McGovern's literature, is an honor,
and a way for people to hold onto a piece of his history through reading.

"He was a good and honorable man and a courageous man and he stood by his principals and he told the truth," said Randee Huber, a bookseller at The Book Shop.

For Biden, he said he'll never forget hearing a speech by McGovern in 1972,  Biden was 29-years-old, a Senate nominee for the state of Delaware and said he sat there mesmerized by the man speaking in front of him.

"His phrase in his speech, we do love this country, I don't know anybody that loved this country more than George McGovern," said Biden.

There are many more people, who were touched by the life of George Mcgovern, both here in South Dakota and across the nation and he’s leaving behind a legacy that will last forever.

McGovern will be buried beside his wife Eleanor at Rock Creek Cemetary in Washington, DC.
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