MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Jerry and Patty Wetterling have released a video through the Jacob Wetterling Resource Center, thanking everyone for their support and encouraging everyone to live 11 traits to honor Jacob. The Wetterlings spoke from the couch in their St. Joseph, Minnesota home, with a No. 11 Wetterling jersey draped over a chair behind them.
“Jacob’s kidnapping gripped the St. Joseph community, the state and the entire nation in 1989. Our family has been lifted up and carried through the agony of the search and difficult life markers -- graduations, family weddings and the loss of our loved ones.
"We have been strengthened by the love and support of so many in our search for Jacob. After such a long time, the suddenness of the answer -- the horrific, last-minute and hour of life, finality of death, is so very hard to process.
"It was hard to sleep, eat, think, work. Yet we had to find a way to honor Jacob and strengthen Jacob’s hope for a better and safer world for children. But once again wonderful people and organizations came forward with tears, hugs, flowers, stories, notes and gifts that Jacob’s legacy will move forward.
"Jacob believed in world where children have right to grow up safe and follow their dreams. That’s what we are fighting for. Work still to do: Need to find children still missing and we need to build world where children not afraid.
We thank you and encourage all to live 11 traits to honor Jacob. The idea for 11 came from kids. We love that idea. Let children lead. Thank you.”
The JWRC says 11 for Jacob is 11 things that people of all ages can do to nurture a culture of kindness and compassion and if you put on Jacob’s jersey number, make a commitment to living with these 11 traits:
1. Be Fair
2. Be Kind
3. Be Understanding
4. Be Honest
5. Be Thankful
6. Be a Good Sport
7. Be a Good Friend
8. Be Joyful
9. Be Generous
10. Be Gentle with others
11. Be Positive