MINNEAPOLIS - Minneapolis city leaders, first responders, and survivors of the Interstate 35W bridge collapse gathered Tuesday to mark 10 years since the tragedy.
Mayor Betsy Hodges, Fire Chief John Fruetel, former Mayor R.T. Rybak and others gathered to share their thoughts and memories from that fateful day, Aug. 1, 2007.
"There are some days that we never can forget and there some days we never should forget and August 1, 2007 is both," Hodges said. "Every single time I cross the bridge -- every single time for almost 10 years now -- I say a prayer for all of you. For those who were lost. For those who survived. For those who responded."
At 6:05 p.m. on that day, the I-35W bridge collapsed. Thirteen people died. Another 145 others were injured.
"To me, the most important way to think about this is to simply be in an elevator or to be walking down the street or driving across the bridge. Stop for a moment and look around. Just think about who shares our common ground," said Rybak. "Minneapolis is a common ground and Minneapolis' common ground stood even while it shook."
Anne Burke and Jessica Engebretsen, daughters of Sherry Engebretsen, one of 13 people who died in the bridge collapse also honored the lost and the living.
"Events such as these remind me how lucky I am to live in a community who not only shares in our sorrow but also continues to remember and support those who live with the physical and mental scars -- and us, as we find our way without our dear loved ones," said Burke. "I am so proud to stand here today. With the help and strength of others, I did go on with my Mom in my heart."
Minneapolis firefighters requested a piece of the I-35W wreckage as a reminder of their dedication and service that day. The piece was installed outside the Emergency Operations Training Facility at 25 37th Ave. NE.
"To me, this is a symbol for all the first responders. When they walk into this facility, they can look at this as a symbol as to why we'll always have that answer (to the question are we prepared for the unexpected?) I guarantee you we will be," said Fruetel.
On Tuesday night, the I-35W bridge will go dark to mark the anniversary.
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