Spirit of patriotism alive and well in our community

By Rachel Kytonen
Isanti County News 

Most of us will never forget where we were on 9/11. I was working for the The Journal in New Ulm at the time, and was driving to St. Peter to cover a Nicollet County Board meeting. I heard the news listening to the radio station KDWB.

After I got back to the office, like the rest of the country, I was glued to the television. That evening, I covered a church service, and talked to some of the community members about their thoughts on that fateful day. Ten years later that day still feels like yesterday.

This past Sunday morning, I covered a 9/11 Remembrance and Public Service Servant Day Celebration at the Isanti VFW.

An intimate crowed gathered at the Isanti VFW, along with Isanti County Sheriff Russ Monson, and several other law enforcement and fire department members. A special moment during the celebration was the reading the names of the firefighters and police officers whose lives were lost that day. Taps was also played, and there was also a Color Guard and Cannon Salute.

Once I was back home, I was glued to the television watching the national remembrance on NBC. Your eyes couldn’t help but water as you listened to story after story from the people who lost loved ones that Tuesday morning 10 years ago.

Another inspiring moment for me on Sunday, was the singing of the National Anthem at Solider Field in Chicago prior to the kick-off between the Chicago Bears and Atlanta Falcons. Tenor Jim Cornelison belted out the National Anthem the way it should be, loud and proud. The crowd at Solider Field cheered throughout the duration. It was a moment where you stood up and were proud to be an American.

Also this weekend, on Saturday, I attended the Fallen Firefighter Benefit for Chip Imker at the Cambridge Fire Hall. Early estimates provided by Cambridge Fire Chief Sean Okerlund puts attendance at approximately 1,500, and over $30,000 was raised for the Firefighter Chip Imker Memorial Fund, which benefits his family Kristin, and their sons Hayden and Connor. A sense of support for the Imker Family and support of our local firefighters was evident at the benefit.

Attending these two events showed how our community can come together and show our patriotism toward this great country.  It was a chance to reflect, and honor the memories of those whose lives were lost on 9/11, and pay tribute to our local law enforcement, firefighers and other emergency responders who put themselves in harm’s way each and every day.