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9/11 Memorial Makes Impression on Fair-goers Sunday

Posted: Monday, July 16th, 2018 at 6:25 am


After an escort from Ainsworth to Washington Saturday, led by area first responders, police and fire personnel the NEVER FORGET 9/11 Memorial was open for patrons Sunday at the Washington County Fair.

Washington County Fair volunteer Carol Horning talked about the turnout at the fair “Well I told the guys last night while we were at supper, I’ve spent since November, living, eating, sleeping and breathing this. To actually see it sitting here is beyond something I can even put into words. I was hoping for a crowd, this is beyond a crowd. I’m just thrilled to death that everybody came out. I hope that everyone is patient with the lines. Like the truck driver told me, there’s only one of these in the world, and you’re here to see it.”

Members of local fire departments, first responder teams, police departments and veterans received free admission to the memorial on Sunday. Local veteran Mel Liska and Kalona First Responder Lori Chalupa talked about the importance of the memorial and their service with KCII news. Liska said, “Basically talking to the people that were there, and had relatives that were there, and to show respect for them. It means something we all fight for and it all comes together to defeat the purpose of those that did this. That’s the reason I went, to keep this from happening.”

Chalupa said “I started with my first responder, and in 2001 I took my EMT. I’ve had a lot of people ask me, how long are you going to keep doing it? ‘Till I can’t physically do it anymore. Doing something for someone who can’t pay you back. To me it’s even kind of selfish, because that feeling that you get is just incredible. I’ve had people tell me, if it hadn’t been for you, I wouldn’t have seen my loved one again. It’s just incredibly gratifying, and doing it in a town like Kalona where pretty much everybody knows everybody. They knows who’s going to come in their door when they dial 9-1-1. Lot of memories of what went on at that time, and the sacrifices. Not just the people in the buildings and planes that passed away but the firefighters and everyone that was going in when the rest of them were coming out, and the sacrifices that they and their families made.

The memorial will be open on the fairgrounds from 1-7p.m. Monday and Tuesday. KCII will be broadcasting live from the fair each day this week from 10a.m. to 7p.m.