MPR News / Wellstone. 10 years later.

As someone who was living in southern Wisconsin 10 years ago and detached from politics, the passing of Senator Paul Wellstone and others was something I vaguely remember.  I remember when it happened, but being in college, I’m sure my day-to-day life at the time didn’t allow me to dwell on it all that much.

Since moving to northern Minnesota and working as a journalist, I’ve passed the Wellstone Memorial and Historic Site many times when driving to assignments on the Iron Range.  I never had a chance to stop there until yesterday; on the 10th anniversary of the fatal crash that claimed Senator Wellstone and seven others.  It was clear from the start that people really embraced Wellstone.

With snow falling, the memorial service featured friends and relatives of Senator Wellstone talking about his impact and their memories of him just yards from a series of paths lined by stones engraved with the names of those who lost their lives in the plane crash.  The memorial service was followed by a program a few miles away at the Clinton town hall in Iron Junction, Minn. where Minnesota Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, Iowa Senator Tom Harkin and others gathered to talk about their memories of the former Carleton College professor.  Here are a few shots from yesterday while covering the event for Minnesota Public Radio

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, wipes water from a rock displaying the name of Senator Paul Wellstone and his wife Sheila Wellstone Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Paul Wellstone Memorial and Historic Site near Eveleth, Minn.

Carla Kjellberg of Minneapolis, Minn. pauses near a memorial stone Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Paul Wellstone Memorial and Historic Site near Eveleth, Minn.

There were many fresh additions to the stones lining a walkway at the Paul Wellstone Memorial and Historic Site Thursday, October 25, 2012 near Eveleth, Minn.

Peggy Flanagan of Minneapolis, Minn. sheds a tear during a memorial program dedicated to Senator Paul Wellstone and others on the 10th anniversary of their fatal plane crash at the Paul Wellstone Memorial and Historic Site Thursday, October 25, 2012 near Eveleth, Minn.

Carla Kjellberg (left) and Pam Costain (blue jacket) hug after meeting at the Paul Wellstone Memorial and Historic Site Thursday, October 25, 2012 near Eveleth, Minn. To the right of Kjellberg and Costain is Mattie Weiss. All three are from Minneapolis, Minn.

Todd Markuson, husband to Sheila Wellstone at the time of the fatal crash in 2002, addresses a gathering of people remembering Senator Paul Wellstone and the others on the 10th anniversary of their deaths Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Paul Wellstone Memorial and Historic Site near Eveleth, Minn.

A Senator Paul Wellstone election sign sports a fresh sheet of snow next to an Obama Biden sign Thurdsay, October 25, 2012 near the Paul Wellstone Memorial and Historic Site outside Eveleth, Minn. Multiple Wellstone signs could be seen between Highway 53 and the memorial site.

U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar talks about Senator Paul Wellstone Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Clinton town hall in Iron Junction, Minn.

People gather at the Paul Wellstone Memorial and Historic Site Thursday, October 25, 2012 on the 10th anniversary of the plane crash that killed Senator Paul Wellstone and others near Eveleth, Minn.

U.S. Senator Al Franken does an impersonation of Senator Paul Wellstone ordering breakfast Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Clinton town hall in Iron Junction, Minn.

U.S. Senator Al Franken laughs at remarks by Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Clinton town hall in Iron Junction, Minn. Franken, Harkin and others were gathering to remember the late Senator Paul Wellstone and others on the 10th anniversary of his fatal plane crash.

U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, pauses while talking for the first time about his reaction to hearing about the plane crash that claimed the life of Senator Paul Wellstone and others Thursday, October 25, 2012 at the Clinton town hall in Iron Junction, Minn. during a program on the 10th anniversary of the fatal plane crash.