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Nearly a Decade in the Making, WI's New 9/11 Memorial Ready

Wisconsin News Connection

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and you don't have to visit New York or the Pentagon to pay tribute.

Memorials have popped up across the country the past two decades, including a new one in eastern Wisconsin.

Volunteers in the village of Kewaskum have worked for the past seven years to get their memorial ready. It was formally dedicated in June with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Fuzz Martin, vice president of the board for Kewaskum Remembers 9/11, said this weekend is the first time the site will welcome visitors to coincide with the anniversary, and stressed giving residents the opportunity to reflect thousands of miles from ground zero is important.

"Just as you see Veterans memorials and Peal Harbor memorials, things like that, it is a testament to what we endured as a nation," Martin explained.

Aside from reflection, Martin noted the site also gives a chance for future generations to learn more about what happened.

The memorial in Kewaskum includes a steel beam from the North Tower of the World Trade Center, and the 9/11 Memorial Highway runs through the village along State Highway 28.

The project was inspired by the family of Andrea Haberman, a local high-school graduate who died in the attacks.

Martin pointed out the project also offers age-appropriate lesson plans and field-trip guides for educators if they want to enhance their teaching to those who were born after 9/11.

He feels it's up to everyone to keep the memory alive.

"I think we, as a nation, have drifted certainly from where we were on September 12th, 2001. I think, partially, there's some healing involved with that."

He added as time moves on, the public is more inclined to only reflect on the anniversary date.

The Wisconsin 9/11 Memorial includes a tree grown from a seedling from the ground zero Survivor Tree. The formal ceremony starts at 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

Mike Moen is the Morning Edition producer and serves as a staff reporter for WNIJ. Every morning, he works with Dan Klefstad to bring listeners the latest Illinois news. He also works with the rest of the news staff on developing and producing in-depth stories. Mike is a Minnesota native who likes movies, history, and baseball. When most people hear his last name, they assume he is 100-percent Scandinavian. But, believe it or not, he is mostly German.
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