A dark day in American—World History: today, marking the 20th Anniversary of the terrorist attack on American soil.
The American Legion, Post 14, hosted their 11th annual Patriot Day, and 9/11 service on a sidewalk of Main Street in Bozeman. Dozens gathered to witness the honor guard, hear from local first responders, and pay tribute to the fallen.
Randy Kemp was the Commander of the Honor Guard Saturday morning and noted the veterans supporting first responders.
“We’re veterans, and we’ve all paid the price of being in the military for this country. We love this country, we’re all Americans,” Kemp said, “It’s a great country, and we the American Legion support this country in every way that we can.”
Lining Main Street, 13 American Flags: in honor of the 13 soldiers who recently gave the ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan.
“We make sure we put up about 92 flags, lining Main Street and some flags at the cemetery and at the Veterans Memorial. It was determined that the right way to honor those who may have given some of the last blood in this conflict to keep us free,” Greg Harbac said.
Harbac is an active member of the American Legion Post 14, and was 25 miles south of the Pentagon when word of that an attack on the Twin Towers occurred.
The sound of taps filled the street, as first responders, their loved ones, the American Legion, and members of the community lowered their hats and heads in remembrance.
“I ended up enlisting in the Air Force after September 11th, 2001: that was my wake-up call to me. I felt like I needed to fight back, I needed to feel like I deserved everything that has been offered me just for being an American,” Troy Downing said.
Troy Downing, Montana State Auditor, elaborates on the dark day of September 11th, but the unity felt throughout the nation on September 12th.
“We were no longer Democrats, Republicans, a certain race or gender, we were Americans,” Downing said.
While members gathered to honor our local responders, members of the Bozeman Fire Department ‘paid’ the honor forward through time and steps.
Three stair climbing machines, all facing one another adorned with an American flag: utilized by members of our Fire Department and community members.
“The firefighters who went into the world trade center, and climbed a lot of steps, most of them probably had an idea that this was going to be an event like none other,” Josh Waldo, Bozeman Fire Chief said.
Beginning at about 8:30 am Saturday morning, and concluding at 1 pm, Gary O’Brien, an Engineer at the Bozeman Fire Department, estimated that the total number of flights ascended will be about 1,000.
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