Eleven years later


In October 2002 I attended a gubernatorial fundraiser in the Wells Fargo Center building in downtown Minneapolis for Roger Moe. I was excited because Senators Paul Wellstone and Ted Kennedy were both scheduled to speak at the event, and Walter Mondale would be in attendance. Mr. Moe kicked off the fundraiser, announcing that Paul Wellstone had decided to attend a funeral in northern Minnesota instead of flying back for the rally, but Ted Kennedy had plenty to say to fill both speaking slots. We laughed. It was a fair trade.

About halfway through Senator Kennedy’s speech, everyone’s cell phones started to ring. I mean, everyone’s, mine included.

Minutes later Roger Moe announced to the crowd Paul Wellstone’s plane had gone down in northern Minnesota. Stunned silence pierced the room. The days that followed were surreal for many Minnesotans as we mourned the loss of our senator of the people. I always think of the event when I look at this building, even on day 307 of Photo 365.