Planting a Tree in Honor of Charles Poland

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The Newton community visited Gazebo Park to honor fallen bus driver Charles Poland.

“To see the folks of Dale County all coming together to try to get over this tragedy and to remember the legacy of Mr. Chuck Poland, it's just amazing to me,” spoke Representative Steve Clouse.

On January 29th, Poland sacrificed his live to save the children on his bus.

One friend said, “He was a hero long before that. God knew that he was going to need a hero to be on that bus that day.”

Saturday, they planted a tree in his name.

“I know today that Chuck is mighty proud and he's looking down with a smile on his face,” said Clouse.

The town also awarded the Poland family with recognition. Town leaders said Poland’s wife -- Jan -- gave them the strength they needed to end the hostage crisis.

“Ms. Poland has given something to me that I may have lost. She made me remember what it really was about. Every morning when we leave our house, hug our wives, husbands, our loved ones, because when we leave, you may never seem them again. That touched me more than anything I’ve ever endured,” expressed Sheriff Wally Olsen, from Dale County Sheriff’s Department.

Earlier that day, 70 motorcycles rode around Newton. They raised more than $2,000 in donations to the Poland family.

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