9/11 ceremony pays tribute to sacrifices

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The ceremony at Cabela’s in remembrance of 9/11 was a powerful and an aptly reflective one. (Photos by Correne Martin)

Pastor Andy Doll spoke to around 75 emergency responders and citizens attending the Rembrance Ceremony about the purpose of our country’s first responders and how they face fear in the name of “Liberty and Justice for all.” “Without great tragedy, you won’t have triumph,” he stated.

Dennis Kirschbaum and his fellow Prairie du Chien Honor Guard members solemnly walk the American flag through the crowd Saturday to the flagpole, where they then raised and lowered it to half-staff.

The Honor Guard and bugler performed a beautiful flag raising and lowering for the occasion.

Jerry Letcher, 3rd District American Legionnaire, salutes the flag, carried by Honor Guard members to be flown in front of Cabela’s for Saturday’s ceremony.

Nine first responder units from the Prairie du Chien, Marquette and McGregor area received these small commemorative banners in appreciation of their sacrifices, desire and passion. All were signed with thanks from Cabela’s staff.

McGregor Hook & Ladder members participating in the 9/11 remembrance ceremony and first responder tribute Saturday morning at Cabela’s were (from left) Isaac Sauer, Justin Meyer, Tom Sauer and Tyler Thornton.

As Saturday’s event concluded, Cabela’s General Manager Pat Connaughty pointed out the sunshine rising above the bluffs, upon the American flag.

By Correne Martin


Prairie du Chien Cabela’s hosted a remembrance ceremony and first responder tribute Saturday, Sept. 11, at 8:30 a.m., just moments before the official 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. in 2001. Firemen, EMS, law enforcemenet officers and veterans from Prairie du Chien, Marquette and McGregor were recognized for their contributions to our communities.

The ceremony came to be organized from “an exchanging of ideas by a whole bunch of folks too young to remember what happened,” said Pat Connaughty, Cabela’s general manager, of his staff. What happened that day, Sept. 11, 2001, was so poignant that it compelled those “young 20-somethings” to plan Saturday’s observance. 

“They informed me, that when that flag is raised and lowered, there are going to be tears,” Connaughty said.

The brief yet powerful event at the front of the Cabela’s store was a way of sharing heartfelt appreciation with local fire, EMS and law enforcement, as well as veterans organizations, for their sacrifices and dedication to triumph over tragedy in our small communities. 

The Prairie du Chien Honor Guard first raised the American flag in front of the store and then lowered it to half-staff. Next, Connaughty added some thoughts and thanks. Finally, Pastor Andy Doll, of the Bible Baptist Church, spoke eloquently in remembering those who lost their lives on 9/11 and talked about the purpose of “Liberty and Justice for all.”

“We remember the “United We Stand” signs, the flags flying everywhere in the wake of Sept. 11, Lee Greenwood’s ‘God Bless the USA.’ 2,500 civilians, 344 firefighters and 71 police officers died 20 years ago,” Doll stated. “Without great tragedy, you won’t have triumph. All liberty and all freedom demands sacrifice.”

He related to the fear many citizens felt after 9/11 and said “we’re still amid a case of fear in our country. It’s still out there and we look it in the face with a desire to help,” and a desire to do good.

He implored people to always remember the purpose: that first responders went into the Twin Towers in New York City in the eye of tragedy, that civilians got up and went to work that day or boarded a plane—“not knowing they weren’t going to come home.”

The ceremony concluded with a breakfast on the apron of the store for all emergency responders and veterans in attendance. 

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