Korczak Remembrance Day
CRAZY HORSE, SD (Oct. 13, 2020) — Each year, Crazy Horse Memorial honors its original sculptor, Korczak Ziolkowski, on the anniversary of his passing. This year’s annual Korczak Remembrance Day was held on Tuesday, October 20.
Crazy Horse Memorial visitors were able to walk from the Welcome Center complex to the tomb area, which is located near the base of the mountain carving.
“This Remembrance Day is the one time each year we invite our guests to visit the tomb of our father,” said Monique Ziolkowski, Crazy Horse Memorial’s executive director and the ninth child of Korczak and Ruth Ziolkowski. “There, visitors can pay respects to him, our mother, our sisters Anne and Dawn, and my husband, James Howe. They all were laid to rest at the family cemetery.
“Our brother Adam greeted the guests at the tomb,” she continued. “He has welcomed visitors who come to pay their respects for many years — regardless of heat, rain, or snow. He looks forward to welcoming them.”
Korczak Ziolkowski arrived in South Dakota’s Black Hills in 1947. He worked on the Crazy Horse Memorial until his death at age 74 on Oct. 20, 1982. During his nearly 36 years of working on the mountain carving, and developing the Memorial’s many initiatives that support North America’s Native communities and cultures, he refused to take a salary.
Ziolkowski is buried in a tomb that he and his sons blasted from a rock outcropping at the base of the mountain carving. He wrote his own epitaph for the tomb door, cutting the letters he needed from a steel plate. The epitaph reads, “KORCZAK, Storyteller in Stone, May His Remains Be Left Unknown.”
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, walkers were advised to physically distance. There is ample space on the path and throughout the Memorial complex to do so. A variety of safety protocols also remain in place throughout the Memorial’s facilities to protect the health of staff and guests.
To learn more about Crazy Horse Memorial, to plan a visit, and for information about making a contribution, call (605) 673-4681 or visit crazyhorsememorial.org. To stay up to date on the latest news and events, follow the Crazy Horse Memorial on Facebook (/crazyhorsememorial), Twitter (@crazyhorsemem) and Instagram (@crazyhorsememorial); and follow The Indian University of North America on Facebook (/TheIndianUniversityofNorthAmerica) and Instagram (@IndianUniversityCrazyHorse).
The Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation is dedicated to protecting and preserving the culture, tradition, and living heritage of the North American Indians by continuing the progress on the world’s largest sculptural undertaking, the memorial of Lakota leader Crazy Horse; providing educational and cultural programming to encourage harmony and reconciliation among all peoples and nations; acting as a repository for Native American artifacts, arts, and crafts through the Indian Museum of North America and the Native American Educational and Cultural Center; and establishing and operating the Indian University of North America and, when practical, a medical training center for American Indians.