This year October 22 will be Jacob Wetterling Day in Minnesota

Gov. Dayton declared the anniversary of the 1989 abduction 'Jacob Wetterling Day.' A memorial service is being held Sunday in St. Joseph.
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Jacob Wetterling was 11 when he was abducted.

This weekend thousands of Minnesotans will converge on Jacob Wetterling's hometown to remember the boy whose kidnapping galvanized the state nearly 27 years ago.

And Sunday's memorial service in St. Joseph comes less than a month before the anniversary of the 11-year-old's abduction on a roadside there.

This year when October 22nd arrives, it will be Jacob Wetterling Day in Minnesota, after Gov. Mark Dayton issued a proclamation to that effect on Friday.

 Jacob blows out candles on a birthday cake (Photo: Jacob Wetterling Resource Center Facebook)

Jacob blows out candles on a birthday cake (Photo: Jacob Wetterling Resource Center Facebook)

October 22 has been a date when people around the country leave porch lights on for Jacob and other missing children.

This year will be different, though, since Jacob is no longer missing and his fate is known to others besides the man who admits killing him.

The governor's proclamation declares that "The Wetterling family's tragedy profoundly affected the lives of all Minnesotans and we have held their family in our hearts for nearly 27 years."

It also notes that the family's advocacy for child safety led Congress to pass the Jacob Wetterling Act in 1994 and prompted Minnesota to establish a sex offender registry.

Sunday's memorial service

The public is invited to the 10 a.m. service at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. Seating in Clemens Field House has been filled by guests who signed up online but the College says it will simulcast the service at another location on campus.

There will also be a livestream at this site.

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Minnesotans asked to remember Jacob Wetterling

Residents are encouraged to leave their porch lights on Saturday night in remembrance of Jacob Wetterling and other missing children. Wetterling was abducted 22-years ago on Oct. 22nd, 1989, near his home in St. Joseph. He was 11-years old at the time and hasn't been seen since.