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Blasts at Crazy Horse mountain carving honor vets

CRAZY HORSE MEMORIAL, S.D. (AP) -- Two blasts at the Crazy Horse Memorial mountain carving have paid tribute to military veterans.

Officials at the mountain carving in South Dakota's Black Hills say a small gathering of people stood in swirling snow Monday to see the Veterans Day blasts that removed 1,490 tons of granite.

They say that while such blasts are a holiday tradition, Monday's blasts also were part of ongoing work to complete the rough shaping of the horse's muzzle area on the carving.

Officials say the Veterans Day observance was important to the late Crazy Horse sculptor Korczak Ziolkowski, who served in the Army during World War II.

The memorial is a mountain carving in progress that will depict Lakota warrior Crazy Horse on horseback gesturing to his ancestral homelands.