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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Witnessing History

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Residents had an opportunity to touch the World Trade Center beam Saturday during the Popcorn Festival of Clay County Saturday. [Order this photo]
WTC beam on display at festival

There were few dry eyes at Forest Park Saturday.

At approximately 11 a.m., local law enforcement and emergency responders provided an escort for a beam from the World Trade Center.

Local resident Kayla Chiles sang "God Bless the U.S.A.," as local emergency responders brought a beam from the World Trade Center to Forest Park Saturday as part of the Popcorn Festival of Clay County. [Order this photo]
The beam was on display Saturday during festivities at the Popcorn Festival of Clay County. It was provided by Bloomington firefighter Bob Loviscek.

"We have been taking it to festivals," Loviscek said.

Loviscek said approximately two years ago, officials in Bloomington inquired about acquiring the beam for its city.

Loviscek said he filed the paper work and then drove to New York City to pick up the beam.

"It's a nice piece for memorial services," Loviscek said. "People want to see it. It's quite a tribute."

Popcorn Festival Committee member Glen Brown said fellow committee member Tracy Chiles had recently seen the beam in a parade and asked if they could display it during the Clay County festival.

"It was heart-warming," Brown told The Brazil Times. "She made contact with someone who could access it."

Brown said his wife Evelyn, who is also the Committee President, made a few calls and managed to secure a day where the beam could be on display.

"It snowballed into something nice," Glen said. "It's pretty cool."

"To me, it's a great opportunity to be a part of history," 138th Quartermaster Recruiter Sgt. Troy Batchelor said, "and remember all the people who sacrificed."

As the beam was being escorted down State Road 59 to Forest Park, local resident Kayla Chiles, Tracy's daughter, stepped to the band shell stage and performed Lee Greenwood's classic, "God Bless the U.S.A."

Kayla said she has performed in front of crowds before, but Saturday was much more emotional.

"It gave me goose bumps when I saw the cars," Kayla said. "It was very emotional."

Harmony resident Lisa Kruse stood with her son Collin, 8, as people meandered to the beam.

Many reached to touch it.

Others stood in silence.

"It's unbelievable," Kruse said. "I'm not normally very emotional, but it really makes you think.

"(Kayla Chiles) sang so beautifully. This is pretty monumental for Brazil. This is unique. What a community we live in."

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Thank you to all who made this possible. What a beautiful way to remember those who perished, and their families.

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Oct 3, 2011, at 11:17 AM

Wow - wish I had known it was there. I would have liked to have seen it. Good job getting it here for display.

-- Posted by indianamama on Mon, Oct 3, 2011, at 12:46 PM

You can still show that you remember, by visiting your local fire or EMS department. Tell them "Thanks".

-- Posted by Oldtown on Tue, Oct 4, 2011, at 3:58 PM

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