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Governor will join monument dedication

"The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by." Felix Adler, as quoted on the back of the Heroes Among Us monument in Winona.

By John Weiss

Post-Bulletin, Rochester MN

WINONA — The terrorist attack in New York seven years ago will be commemorated nearly 1,000 miles away with a 13,000-pound granite monument on the shores of Lake Winona in Winona.

It will be dedicated Thursday with Gov. Tim Pawlenty expected to attend.

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The Heroes Among Us Committee began in 2003 with two goals, said Tim Klinkner, fund raising co-chairman:

First, "to keep in people’s minds the memory of 9/11," he said.

Second, to remember not only that nearly 3,000 people were killed but also how "everybody pulled together all over the country," he said. New York became "our city, we’re trying to commemorate that sense of unity." It will be called the Unity Monument.

But there are more heroes than just those who died in the 9/11 attacks or helped saved lives of those in the Twin Towers. There are also local heroes, such as people who pulled someone out of the water after he fell through the ice of Lake Winona or local boy scouts who used their first aid to help someone injured in an accident.

The monument will cost about $40,000 but the city and Winona Monument Co. gave $15,000 in in-kind help. The group is still short about $3,000 but hopes those seeing the 11-foot-wide, 9-foot tall monument will be inspired to get out their checkbooks.

The group has an annual fund raising dinner — this year’s will be at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Winona Legion club — to honor local heroes, Klinkner said. Last year’s applauded those who risked their lives to help victims of the August floods, or were collecting clothes and other needed items for the victims, he said.

He said he joined the group, which has a core committee of about a dozen people, because of 9/11.

"On Sept. 11, thousands of people went to work in those two buildings, Sept. 10 was just another day. And Sept. 11, they did the same thing, except Sept. 11 wasn’t just another day," he said. No matter what your political beliefs are, "you don’t murder 3,000 people in cold blood to make your point," he said.

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Dedication

What: Dedication of the Heroes Among Us monument.

When: 10 a.m. Thursday.

Where: The Winona Visitors Center near U.S. 61 and Huff Street.

Web: To donate to finish paying for it, go to www.winonacommunityfoundation.com.

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