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I-35W Memorial Remembers Dead, Celebrates Survivors

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MINNEAPOLS (WCCO) – Four years after the I-35W bridge collapse and Kim Dahl still is in the recovery process.

“I’ve had my arm fixed just two weeks ago,” she said. “I’ve had my other shoulder fixed just a couple weeks ago. And I still suffer from PTSD (Post-traumatic stress disorder).”

Her scars and her lingering pain are a daily reminder of the close call she and her two children experienced on Aug. 1, 2007.

On that day, Dahl was on a bus filled with people. She shares an experience with those who survived that others, who weren’t there, can’t understand.

“People look at us like, ‘Hey, you guys look great, you guys look like you’ve gone forward.’ But deep down, we’re not. We’re not okay,” she said.

Dahl says the 35W memorial, which was dedicated to those who lost their lives in the collapse Monday, could be one of the first big steps toward recovery.

The memorial is composed of 13 pillars, each of which represents a life that was lost when the bridge fell. Thirteen speeches were given Monday by people whose loved ones were taken in the tragedy.

The memorial dedication was characterized by a sense of community – a sense that people (strangers, Minnesotans) had been united by tragedy – and an appreciation was born from it.

“You live life to the fullest every day,” Dahl said. “Because you don’t know what tomorrow will bring.”

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