Panel Erases Slain Deputy's Words From Memorial
August 31, 2009
CHIPPEWA FALLS, WI – The middle tablet in the Jason Zunker memorial at the Chippewa County Courthouse must be removed within 30 days.
The Chippewa County Buildings and Grounds Committee voted unanimously Tuesday morning to order the tablet removed, and the two remaining smaller tablets be pushed closer together.
On the front of the middle tablet is a picture of Zunker. The back of the middle tablet has a phrase written by Zunker that includes religious wording. The middle tablet is about 5 1/2 feet tall.
Editor’s Note: The following quote from Deputy Jason Zunker was printed on the middle tablet:
“When I die, I know where I’m going. Don’t be sad, because the Bible says it’s greater than anyone can even imagine. … You must ask Jesus into your heart. Believe he died for you and believe he rose again.”
County Administrator Bill Reynolds said there was a “clear miscommunication and misunderstanding” between the buildings and grounds committee and the Zunker group. Reynolds noted that by removing the center panel, it can be placed “in an appropriate area by the memorial committee, and still preserve the memorial on county grounds.”
Deputy Zunker was directing traffic on south-bound U.S. 53 around a semitrailer truck that was on fire on Jan. 4, 2008, when he was struck by a vehicle. Zunker, 31, suffered massive head trauma and died the next day at Luther Hospital in Eau Claire.
The memorial was placed on the south side of the courthouse last month.