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Visitors appreciate new park

September 20, 2011
Marshall Independent

To the editor:

My wife and I left from Minneapolis on a vacation on Sunday, 9-11-11. Unfortunately, we headed north to the North Shore and missed (as we later learned) your Memorial Park dedication. However, later in the week as we traveled around the borders of the state we came to stay in Marshall on Sept. 14. That night, after a wonderful Chinese meal and exceptional service at Hunan Lion on Main Street we decided to take an after-supper walk in that park down the street. We had no idea what was in the park.

As we entered we wondered what kind of statues were there in the center. Looking closely we came to realize that it was a steel beam and fireman statue. We then understood it was a 9-11 Memorial Park.

We were trying to figure out what the stars in the bricks meant when a gentleman walking his dog came up to us and asked if one of us had lost their glasses. Indeed my wife had. He had found them near the flags. We asked him if he knew the meaning of the stars in the bricks. This kind gentleman then proceeded to give us a complete picture on how the park came about and the meaning of not only the bricks but the circle of large stones and what was yet to come in the park.

But most importantly he told of his journey to New York, his work there after 9-11 and obtaining the actual beam from the World Trade Center.

As he recounted his story we could see his eyes tear as did mine. He pointed out how to look for the shadow images of the twin towers on the beam when the lights came on at dark. The gentleman's name was Craig Schafer.

We now understand the meaning behind the park's features and we salute Mr. Schafer and all of the city of Marshall for a park above and beyond the call of civic duty.

Virginia and Wayne Hoppke




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