A moment of silence was held at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, Monday evening, to remember the victims of the stage collapse on the one year anniversary of the tragedy.
Many of the people hurt and the loved ones of those who died gathered around a plaque behind the grandstand which serves as a memorial site. They brought roses, balloons, and heavy hearts.
"It's, it's hard to be back, because we lost someone," said Jaymie Polet of Ohio. She was badly hurt when the stage came crashing down. Her best friend Meagan Toothman was standing next to her and holding her hand. Toothman died from her injuries.
"I miss Meagan. I miss, you know, I wish she was here with us and I wish, you know, that this never happened."
Polet said it was her first time back at the fairgrounds since the tragedy. She wanted to come for Toothman and for the other victims and their loved ones.
"It's just nice to know that there's people here that they understand your story, they understand what happened, cause it happened to them as well," said Polet.
Among those people was Christy Collins, sister of Alina BigJohny of Fort Wayne, who also died.
"Anytime anybody needed her, she was always there," said Collins. "So I know that she would be here for me."
At 8:46 p.m. fair officials shut down all fair activity and began the four minute long tribute. An announcer read this special message over the fair PA system:
"Today -- at this moment -- marks the anniversary of the tragic incident that occurred on Aug. 13, 2011. At this time, we ask that everyone please pause, remove your hats, and join the Indiana State Fair family in remembrance of those lives that were lost, and those that are forever impacted from that tragic night.
Please join us now in a moment of silence.
- Alina BigJohny
- Nathan Byrd
- Glenn Goodrich
- Jennifer Haskell
- Christina Santiago
- Meagan Toothman
- Tammy VanDam
May these individuals, their families, and those injured, forever be in our hearts. In times of crisis, Hoosier strength resonated and we experienced heroes coming to the rescue of so many. We will forever remember 2011 as a year filled with compassion, heartbreak and an outpouring of Hoosier Spirit."
It was a moment to reflect and to remember the lost. Polet hoped it would also serve as a chance to find closure.
"To just... you know... end this. Get away from all of it, but in a happier way," she said.