WESTON, Wis. (WSAW) The dedication ceremony for a memorial honoring the March 22, 2017 shooting victims took place Wednesday. The memorial is at Kennedy Park in Weston.
March 22 Memorial Oct. 16, 2019 (WSAW)
The memorial is a four-sided pillar, roughly 7-feet-tall and the base is 34-inches wide on each side. There is an eternal flame on top.
The memorial honors Detective Jason Weiland, Dianne Look, Karen Barclay, and Sara Quirt Sann, who lost their lives in the shootings.
"Everyone can reflect on it as they go by," said Jason's wife Kara Weiland.
Wausau Metro Strong sent out a press release after Wausau’s latest shooting, extending sympathy to those impacted. Scott Sann, who lost his wife in 2017 said this memorial is not just for those who were affected in 2017, but to anyone who has dealt with domestic tragedy.
"This memorial is important to remember those people back in March. But, I think it will also stand as a memorial for the community that we still need to work together and do things to minimize, or put an end to domestic violence in light of what happened a couple weeks ago," Saan said.
Resident Cassandra Ambrosius approached the village with the idea after she helped raise $25,000 for the memorial by helping organize the 1st Annual 'Run to Remember' on March 17, 2018. The memorial will not initially cost Weston taxpayers as the construction will be paid for with the money raised during the event. Ambrosius proposed to place the memorial in Kennedy Park because of its proximity to all three shootings.
"I think that is going to be forever one of the worst days our community has ever seen. But it also was one of the days that we saw how well our community comes together in times of great tragedy and how generous this community is and is willing to give back no matter what," Ambrosius said.
A letter of support for the memorial was submitted to the village by 'Wausau Metro Strong,' the group of Marathon County leaders which formed after the shootings, to help keep the community safe and informed.
The letter asked the committee to approve the memorial to ensure that the community never forgets the lives that were taken, the pain endured and the immeasurable strength and character of the community.
"On that dreadful day, we lost four wonderful and caring community members," retired Wausau Police Chief Jeff Hardel said to the crowd Wednesday.
The ceremony was a special moment for the victims' families and the community that embraced them.
"It's very touching to see all these people here," Doug China, brother of Karen Barclay, said. "And I just want to say, my condolences to all the family members."
Sann was touched by the dedication ceremony.
"She was a very beautiful person and just a very good spirit and you know, that will always be with us," he said.
While Kara has seen the picture of Jason that is on the memorial several times, seeing it there, she said, is remarkable.
"That smile on his face, he had so much pride for his job and protecting his community was truly what he was meant to do," she said, smiling.
For Bob Look, husband of Dianne Look, he said he doesn't dwell on what happened every day, Wednesday's dedication was something he wishes he didn't have to be at.
"Not that I dwell on this every day, but it's there every day. It's there every minute and every second," he said.
Hardel said March 22, 2017 is a day the community will never forget.
"And I mean that from my heart. And now we have a monument to make sure that we will look at this forever. It will be here forever," Hardel said.
The memorial is located on Jelinek Avenue across from the D.C. Everest School driveway.