BOZEMAN — On Saturday morning, Montana State held a memorial service in honor of Sept. 11 in front of Montana Hall and the future Army officers, part of the ROTC, ran up and down the stairs at Bobcat Stadium to honor those who died during the terrorist attacks.
“We were five blocks away when the first tower came down and one block away when that second tower came down," said retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Terry Hamburg, who was a guest speaker at the ceremony. At the time, he was in New York close by the Twin Towers when they fell. "Let me tell you, excuse my french, it’s a hell of a lot to watch almost 3,000 people die in a matter of seconds.”
Hamburg and few other guest speakers talked about their experiences during September 11 and what the day means to them.
“September 11 2021 is not a day of celebration, nor was it ever intended to be, it was a day to remember,” said Hamburg.
Over at Bobcat Stadium, the Army ROTC came together to run up and down the stairs in honor of the first responders who died that day, and also for those who gave their lives fighting terrorism after.
“I was one only a one year when this all happened but it's still close to my heart," said ROTC member Maggie Smiedala who planned the event. "I’ve had people -- some of my dad’s friends were involved with it. I had a neighbor down the road when I was younger who was a firefighter during the incident and survived. Definitely just want to encourage my generation to remember the events of 9/11 and memorialize and hor the people who died that day.”
“I had family go out and friends who go out and come back without arms or legs, you see that impact,” said Aidan Quigley, future Army officer.
When the going got tough running all the stairs at the Stadium, the thought of what the first responders went through on Sept. 11 pushed the cadets through.
“When I was running through the stairs I was just imagining all the firefighters working up those stairs with the smoke, being on oxygen, 60 plus pounds of gear, it just made me think of what that would feel like and how hard that must have been,” said cadet Tyler Moravec.
Despite most of the ROTC members not being born, or being too young to remember the day, they want to continue to remind their generation to never forget what happened that day.
“Super important to remember the lives that were given, not only in that event but everything that’s come after that,” said Smiedala.