Oelwein Fire Department plans 343 Memorial March - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Oelwein Fire Department plans 343 Memorial March


The Oelwein Fire Department is working on a special entry for this year's Fourth of July parade on Saturday, July 2nd.

The entry honors the 343 firefighters who died on September 11, 2001.

"The visualization of that many people, you can say 343 firefighters died and it's true, but when you see 343 signs walking down the parade route, it's very emotional," said Oelwein Fire Chief Wallace Rundle.

Various fire departments from eastern Iowa and other states are sending representatives to march in the parade. The goal is to have one firefighter walking for each name.

Besides the 343 Memorial March, the Oelwein Fire Department is driving a truck draped in black.

Firefighters will also carry a "Flag of Names," and yet another component is a truck pulling a trailer re-creating a photo of firefighters raising a flag at Ground Zero.

The Oelwein Fire Department had a similar parade entry nine years ago.

"As we progressed through the parade route the most incredible thing happened. It quieted. Very emotional," said Rundle.

The firefighters will do it again this year in honor of the upcoming 10-year anniversary of 9-11.

Fire Chief Wally Rundle hopes the parade entry evokes many emotions, including...

"Pride in our country," he said.

Pride and thanks to the firefighters and their families who made sacrifices on 9-11.

There may be an opportunity for volunteers to march with the Oelwein Fire Department.

If you're interested in possibly marching, meet at the north end of the business district by 10 a.m. The parade starts at 10:30.

Reporter: Danielle Wagner

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