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Victims remembered

200 attend memorial for train bridge shooting victims

October 13, 2008
By LISA M. HOFFMANN, Staff Writer

KINGSFORD - The spirits of those killed in the East Kingsford train bridge shooting this past summer will be remembered forever.

A permanent memorial for the victims of the July 31 bridge shooting was unveiled at a ceremony Sunday afternoon.

Located at Skidmore Drive and Barton Street, approximately a half-mile from the Michigan entrance to the train bridge and one mile from the site of the shooting, the 4-foot by 3-foot memorial stone is engraved with the names of Tiffany Ann Pohlson, Tony David Spigarelli and Bryan Wayne Mort.

Article Photos

Chaplain David Anderson addresses the crowd during a memorial unveiling ceremony Sunday. The memorial is to remember the three teens killed during the July 31 East Kingsford train bridge shooting.
Theresa Peterson/Daily News Photo

"This memorial is dedicated to three innocent teens who lost their lives through a senseless act of violence at the Menominee River Train Bridge July 31, 2008. Their friend Daniel 'Bud' Gordon was wounded," the memorial reads.

A verse on the memorial reads "God moves in a mysterious way. His wonders to perform; he plants his footsteps in the sea. And rides upon the storm." - William Cooper.

Rev. David Snyder, pastor for United Methodist Church, said the ceremony was to memorialize the three victims of this shooting.

"We are here to memorialize three people we love and miss," he said.

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Snyder invited the victims' families to a Native American Talking Ceremony at 5 p.m. Oct. 26.

"It is to share hearts and listen," he said.

Dickinson County Memorial Hospital Chaplain David Anderson said it was wonderful and encouraging that the community has come together to share the life of these teens.

"Life is more represented here than death. It will always be mutually shared here," he said. "We will come to find we will appreciate life here."

Anderson added the memorial is for anyone to come and receive comfort and to come laugh, sing, shout, pray and meditate.

As part of the ceremony, green, yellow and blue balloons were released for the three teens. Two hundred family, friends and members of the community attended the ceremony.

Friends and family members of the victims who attended the ceremony said Sunday was about holding onto the memory of the ones they lost because of the shooting. They added the memorial close to the site of the shooting is a nice spot to remember the victims.

Following the ceremony, friends and families dressed in their memorial T-shirts walked a mile to the site of the shooting to remember the victims and the times shared at the bridge.

"It will give us peace in the end," a family member of one of the victims said.

The suspect in the shootings, Scott J. Johnson of Kingsford, has pleaded not guilty by reason of mental defect or disease to three counts of first degree murder, six counts of attempted first-degree intentional homicide by use of a dangerous weapon and a sexual assault charge.

He is lodged in the Marinette County Jail awaiting trial in March.

A private dinner for the families of the victims was held at the El Capitan Supper Club in Spread Eagle, Wis., following the unveiling of the memorial.

Those who helped donate to the memorial are Don and Sue Okler, Norway Marble & Granite, Hometowne Lumber, Lofholm's Building Center, Champion Concrete, Bacco Construction, Gendron Construction, Home Depot, Miller Block, Olson Sand and Gravel, Superior Seamless Gutters, Peterson Welding, Kingsford High School students, Norway and Charter cable, The Daily News, El Capitan Supper Club, Sysco Foods, Ranger City Foods, Bink's Coca Cola, Danielson's Greenhouse, KB Enterprises, Fredericks Floral, Balloons Plus, Econo Foods, Midwest Asphalt and Gravel, Michael's Fine Jewelry and Dan Gyselinck.

Lisa M. Hoffmann's e-mail address is lhoffmann@ironmountaindailynews.com.

 
 

 

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