Memorial held for victims of Cedar Rapids explosion nearly 100 years ago

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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Brucemore Historical Site in Cedar Rapids held a wreath-laying ceremony today in honor of the 100-year anniversary of an explosion that killed 44 people in 1919.

A marker serves as a memorial to victims of the Douglas Starch Works plant explosion on May 22, 1919, which killed 44 people (Lucy Rohden/KCRG)

Wednesday, May 22, marks a century since an explosion at Douglas Starch Works killed 44 people in Cedar Rapids.

Brucemore says that this type of event is important to remember the lives lost and create awareness of eastern Iowa history.

"I think it's impossible to understand who we are as a city without understanding the breadth of that story and the depth of our story," David Janssen, Brucemore Executive Director, said. "This is one piece of our history that we need to remember."

Brucemore is holding a community chalk project on Wednesday where people will mark locations around Cedar Rapids that the explosion impacted.