Updated: 06/25/2014 9:47 AM
Created: 06/24/2014 7:18 PM WDIO.com
By: Maarja Anderson
More than 50 years ago, two bombers planes crashed in the Iron County forest a few miles and a few months apart. The crashes killed 6 crew members, but now volunteers are coming together to make sure their service is forever remembered.
The man behind the memorial project is retired veteran, Curt Myers. He has spent quite a bit of the past year working on the project.
"I bet you we have close to 1,000 hours of work in here," he said. "Just man labor and the back hoe and the tractor and moving sand and gravel and rock and stuff."
Back in 2004 a few locals put up a memorial with a replica plane, but Myers said time and nature had taken it's toll.
Along with 15 or so volunteers, Myers is part of the B-47 Crash Site Preservation Committee. They raised $13,000 to build the memorial, complete with three flag poles, solar lights, a pergola, and actual pieces of the crashed planes.
"B-47s are one of the very first strategic bombers that we used to battle the Russians during the Cold War," explained Myers.
During the Cold War, Myers said the bombers would train over the Hurley area, coming up from Topeka Kansas.
"The terrain here was pretty ideal to what Europe was like so that's why it was picked," said Myers.
But In 1961, two planes crashed, one in February and one in May. All four crew members perished in the first crash and two of the four crew members survived the second crash.
The crashes were four miles apart.
The memorial sits atop the second crash site while displaying pieces from the first crash - the actual canopy of the plane and an ejector seat.
Myers said they just wanted to make a nice clearing for the site, but looking at it now they have a full-blown memorial, something he hopes will bring more people to stop by Iron County.
"It's one more thing to be able to see while they are out...This is pretty much the heart, to me, of Iron County," he said.
The committee will celebrate the finished memorial Friday, June 27 and Saturday June 28. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be Saturday at 1 p.m. on Trail 13 C near Hurley, Wisconsin.
To learn more about the project head to their Facebook page here.
St. Louis County Cracks Down on Smoking in Child Care Homes
Although most child care providers don't allow smoking in their homes already, St. Louis County created a rule to make sure it stays that way. On January 1st, all licensed family child care homes in St. Louis County will be completely smoke free 24 hours a day, seven days a week, regardless of whether children are present or not.
New Plans Outpace Renewals for MNsure Signups
Nearly 14,000 Minnesotans have signed up for coverage through the state's health insurance exchange for the first time.
2 Killed in Shootings on Twin Cities Interstates
Hennepin County Sheriff Rich Stanek says investigators have more questions than answers in the case of a rest stop homicide that sparked a chase that ended with officers killing an armed suspect.
Nolan Praises Cuba Policy, Plans Trip
A Minnesota congressman who has long advocated for changes to the United States' Cuba policy says a decision to normalize relations with the island country is a "monumental step" in the right direction.
City Councilor Emily Larson to Announce Duluth Mayoral Bid
Duluth City Council President Emily Larson is announcing her bid for mayor. Larson plans to officially begin her campaign outside the Duluth Public Library at 12:30 p.m.