Missoula’s 9-11 ‘Never Forget’ Ceremony Draws a Crowd of Nearly 50 at Rose Memorial Park
A sparse crowd of about 50 people, not counting participants, were at Rose Memorial Park on Sunday afternoon to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks on America.
Organizer Susan Campbell Reneau of the United Veterans Council provided a timeline of what happened in New York City, Washington, D.C. and a field outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania when terrorists hijacked commercial airliners and flew them into history.
"On September 11th, 2001 a combined total of 24,000 gallons of jet fuel were turned into flying bombs," Campbell Reneau said.
She then recounted the how American Airlines Flight 11 was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center with 92 passengers and crew, and then United Airlines flight 175 flew into the South Tower, killing 65. American Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon in Washington, D.C with 64 passengers and crew.
"Heroes that were civilians on Flight 93 who said 'let's roll', deliberately and courageously gave their lives and forced their airplane to crash in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania," she continued. "On September 11th, 2001, a total of 265 men, women and children in four airplanes died in one hour. A total of 2,997 people perished in the air and on the land."
Retired Missoula Rural Firefighter Tom Ziegler recounted his experiences of working with the crews on Ground Zero in New York City, recalling the friends he lost on 9-11, some of whose bodies were found, and many who were not. He ended with an anonymous poem from one fallen firefighter to his brothers and sisters.
"Brother, when you weep for me, remember that it was meant to be. Lay me down and when you leave, remember that I will be at your sleeve," he began. The poem ends with "so, remember when you wipe your tears, the joy I know throughout the years. As I did the job I loved to do, I pray that you will see me through."
A retired police lieutenant from Edison, New Jersey was on hand to commemorate the 9-11 anniversary. Steve Young brought many of his fellow officers to Ground Zero with hundreds of other area law enforcement personnel to work in the city following the attacks. Young has retired to western Montana with his wife, and wore his Edison Police department cap to the ceremony.
An honor guard fired off a 21-gun salute followed by a bugler who played Taps to end the ceremony, which was sponsored by the Missoula Exchange Club.