CRAZY HORSE, South Dakota — The Crazy Horse Memorial lit up Thursday evening with a special ceremony to honor Ruth Ziolkowski (joo-uhl-KUF'-skee), the late wife of Crazy Horse sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski.
Organizers for the "night blast," which lit up the memorial with large balls of fire, say the ceremony also commemorates the 138th anniversary of the Battle of Little Bighorn. Crazy Horse fought against Col. George Custer during the famous battle.
Ruth Ziolkowski died at age 87 on May 21 from cancer at age 87. Speakers at the ceremony remembered her as "grandmotherly" but also as a "strong person" that helped finish her husband's work.
The death of Ziolkowski triggered a yearslong succession plan at Crazy Horse Memorial that transfers leadership to three people.