City leaders honored victims, survivors and first responders at the Minneapolis Emergency Operations Training Facility today at an event marking the 10th anniversary of the I-35W Bridge collapse.
A piece of the bridge wreckage has been permanently installed outside the Emergency Operations Training Facility at the request of Minneapolis firefighters.
“There are some days we never can forget. There are some days we never should forget. Aug. 1, 2007 is both,” said Mayor Betsy Hodges. “Ten years to the day after one of our city’s most terrible and tragic moments, we get to commit to remembering, and to the responsibility of learning from what happened so that, God willing, it never happens again. We remember and honor those who died, those whom they left behind, and those who survived. And we remember especially the bravery of the countless hundreds who responded—quickly, selflessly, with no thought to the danger they faced themselves, with only the thought of saving others.”
Minneapolis Fire Chief John Fruetel said the bridge piece will serve as a reminder of the dedication firefighters bring to the job every day.
“On the 10th anniversary of the 35W Bridge collapse, we remember the 13 individuals that lost their lives, the 145 survivors and we pay tribute to the first responders who answered the call of duty that day,” Fruetel said. “This piece of the collapsed 35W Bridge installed at our training facility is a constant reminder of the significance of our tireless preparation.”
Several other current and former City leaders reflected on the tragic day, paying tribute to the victims, survivors and first responders, including former Mayor R.T. Rybak, Minneapolis Police Insp. Mike Kjos and chaplains representing the Minneapolis fire and police departments. Anne Burke and Jessica Engebretsen, daughters of Sherry Engebretsen, one of 13 people who died in the bridge collapse, expressed thanks for the all of the support following the tragic death of their mother. A resolution authored by U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar was also read at the dedication.
The I-35W Bridge will go dark tonight to mark the anniversary.