Wellstone remembrance events set in Duluth and on Iron Range
By Larry Sillanpa. Duluth Labor World editor 21 October 2012
|DULUTH - Thursday will mark the 10-year anniversary of the airplane crash that took the life of beloved Senator Paul Wellstone and his wife, Sheila.
|Their daughter, Marcia Wellstone Markuson, Wellstone campaign staffers Tom Lapic, Mary McEvoy and Will McLaughlin, and two pilots also died in the crash near Eveleth.
Remembrance events are planned at the Wellstone Memorial on the Iron Range and in the Duluth Labor Temple’s Wellstone Hall that day.
At 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, a remembrance will take place at the Wellstone Memorial, which is near the site of the airplane crash. (Take Highway 53 north of Duluth and immediately take a right on the Bodas Road a quarter mile past the Highway 37 turnoff to Hibbing. Take the Bodas Road three miles to the Memorial.)
At 7 p.m. that evening in the Duluth Labor Temple, 2002 London Road (enter via South St. doors facing Lake Superior) a number of activities are planned.
Duluth’s first Poet Laureate Barton Sutter will read poems that reflect on Wellstone. LeAnn Littlewolf will read the poem she wrote that is inscribed on a rock at the Wellstone Memorial. Russ Sackett will provide the evening’s music.
The movie, “Wellstone!”, will be shown following the poetry and music. The 88-minute documentary details the life and legacy of Wellstone, the spirited and unapologetically progressive Minnesota senator whose re-election campaign and career as an activist and democratic statesman ended tragically in that plane crash just eleven days before the November 2002 election.
“Wellstone!” explores the origin of Paul and Sheila's politics, his controversial road to the Senate, and the legacy of a life of progressive populism.
In Wellstone-fashion a phone bank and doorknock on behalf of labor-endorsed political candidates will take place from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Duluth before the remembrance.
“We’ll put Paul’s spirit into action,” said North East Area Labor Council field organizer Zach Sias. “This will be our kick-off to our GOTV (Get Out The Vote) campaign and we’re really looking forward to it.” To participate contact Zach at 409-9246, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Refreshments will be available in the Labor Temple that night for political activists and those coming to remember Wellstone.
Macalester College in St. Paul hosted a Wellstone remembrance Oct. 8 with Governor Mark Dayton. An event honoring the lives of the Wellstones will take place in November in Washington, D.C.
Larry Sillanpa edits The Duluth Labor World, the official publication of the Duluth AFL-CIO Central Labor Body.