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Walk For The Fallen Participants Remember Loved Ones

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For the past three years people have been gathering at the Sioux Empire Fair grounds for a ceremonial walk. It's called Walk for the Fallen. It is an event that helps honor those who have fallen as a result of war since September 11, 2001.

"it's always a tough event, but it's one of those things we do because we want our loved ones remembered," said Dan Wagner, who lost his brother in Iraq in 2006.

Although it is an emotional day for Wagner, he is in good company. Dozens of families gathered Saturday to remember their loved ones who have fallen in war.

"It's kind of a warm feeling seeing to see people show up and for use to remember those people who are brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, fathers, mothers." said Dan.

Nearly eighty people participated in the event this year. This is a sizeable increase from last year, with just fifty participants.

"Unless it happens to you it's hard for people to understand what we're going through," said founder Brad Steckelberg.

Founder Brad Steckelberg started the event just two years ago, after hearing of other similar events around the country. 

"As a stepbrother of a fallen hero I thought that's something that I can do, and it's simple and anyone can get involved," said Steckelberg.

Brad says bringing families together who are grieving similar losses offers a unique type of healing.

"If there's ever a time where other families are out to support each other it can bring a lot of healing for the families," said Steckelberg.

Participants fondly remember those they have lost.

"Speaking for my little brother I think he'd probably have a big grin on right now..." said Dan Wagner with tears in his eyes.

The Walk for the Fallen is part of a national movement, Run for the Fallen. The event is held in more than twenty states nationwide.
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