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Remembering workers who died on the job

LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) – Monday marked Workers Memorial Day in La Crosse.

It's a national event every April 28 to honor those who lost their lives on the job.

Every day in the United States, 13 people go to work and die on the job. Nearly four million are injured while working, according to the Western Wisconsin AFL-CIO.

Monday they honored 78 workers from La Crosse, Vernon and Monroe Counties at Green Island Park. Placing crosses in the ground with each individual's name.

"These men and women went off to work to earn a paycheck and they never came home,” said Sen. Jennifer Shilling, (D) WI 32nd District. “We have to remember and recommit ourselves every year to workers safety and to workplace safety."

Those are issues close to Schilling who lost both her parents, along with five employees, to a workplace homicide in 1993. At the memorial ceremony, she read each of their names.

And for Shilling's service to workers safety, the area AFL-CIO presented her a plaque of appreciation.

"We will have made progress and we will have made our work places safer so that we're not adding any names to that list,” said Mayor Tim Kabat, who mourned those who recently lost their lives.

"Our workforce and citizens are the strength of really what makes La Crosse such a special place,” he added.

Among the workers being honored, Paul and AJ Petras, who were shot and killed in their photo store in September 2012.

Workers also recognized Tyler Trussoni, the man who lost his life in a tugboat accident at Lock and Dam no. 7 this past July.

Workers Memorial Day has been observed across the nation for the last 30 years.

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