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Tunnel to Towers exhibit closes with emotional tribute honoring first responders

                          Iroquois County GOP Women host annual First Responder Celebration

‘Support the heroes who have our back’ … let us never forget.’ An emotional closing ceremony for the weekend display of the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation 9/11 NEVER FORGET Mobile Exhibit in Watseka.
Sunday’s event included the Iroquois County Republican Women’s Club organizing its annual First Responder Celebration. Personnel and vehicles from across Iroquois County lined up to remember fallen emergency comrades. Included were the sounds of bagpipes, the End of Watch Reading of Names, emotional words from speakers, and the glorious sounds of A Natural High…

"We are more than pleased wiht how this went...it was amazing.  We must have had more than 300 people here in attendance," Susan Wyn-Bence said.  The Republican Women's Club hopsted the annual First Responder Celebration at the First Trust & Savings Bank parking lot, where the Stephen Siller 9/11 exhibit was on display.

Chad McGinnis, a proud 22-year veteran from rural Clifton and a County Board member, provided the Benediction.  He said "the significance of this day is to remember the people who take of us
  Our communities are taken of by police, fire, EMTS, and others.  Who's taking care of them ?  These responders need help and consideration too, McGinnis said.  Remembering what 9-11 is all about moving forward is so important, McGinnis adds, the younger people need to take this message forward."

McGinnis served in Afghanistan from 2008-09, retiring from active duty in 2014.

David Munson, a Riverside Ambulance EMT and a member of an Illinois Crisis Response Team, volunteered his service and was in New York City to assist with the 9/11 crisis. He was among the special-mentioned honorees at Sunday’s event (along with McGinnis and Wayne Knapp). Munson said it was an unforgettable experience no one should ever forget. 

Fire and Police, ambulance, radio dispatchers and coroner personnel all recognized and saluted for the service they provide daily.

The Stephen Siller Foundation volunteers also said it was a moving experience here. They praised the near 1000-students who respectfully made their way thru the exhibit Friday, adding hopefully they will continue to talk about how we can NEVER FORGET. The City of Watseka and the Watseka Park District jointly organized the weekend tribute.

94.1 WGFA