Residents from around the state gathered at the capital, Saturday, September 11, to mark the 20th Anniversary of the bombings that took down the World Trade Center, damaged The Pentagon, and killed people outside Shanksville, PA.
The ceremony, presented by the Wyoming Veteran's Commission, paid tribute to the victims who died in the attack and honored those who survived.
Moments of silence were observed at 6:46 a.m. when flight 11 hit the north tower, 7:03 a.m., when flight 175 hit the south tower, 7:37 a.m., when flight 77 hit the Pentagon, and 8:03 a.m., when flight 93 crashed in Shanksville, PA.
Wyoming Veterans Commission Chairman Tim Sheppard recognized victims and preborn children, including Deanna Lynn Galante and her unborn son, Matthew.
"Deanna, married to Anthony, was an executive assistant at Cantor Fitzgerald," Sheppard said. "She was seven months pregnant, and the Galante's were excitedly awaiting the birth of their son, Matthew."
Governor Mark Gordon said 0n September 11, 2001, he was getting his daughter ready for school and listening to the news.
"Suddenly, a special report interrupted the broadcast," he said. "A small plane had apparently run into the World Trade Center in downtown New York, and the tower was on fire."
He said it seemed crazy.
"While I was watching, another plane was flying low across the city and buried its nose in the South Tower," Gordon said. "Now, both towers were burning."
Shortly thereafter, he said both towers fell, and America was under attack.
"The news from that point was persistent, scary, and raw," he said. "Another plane barreled into the Pentagon, and maybe another plane was heading to the White House or the Capital. This safe, wonderful country where I was raising my kids was under attack."
Gordon talked about the Shanksville tragedy, where the passengers fought back, forced the plane down, and lost their lives. America had woken up.
"America is best when we are united," Gordon said. "Twenty years have passed since that clear morning in New York City, and it is a morning that must never be forgotten. Today, we are gathered to remember the nearly 3,000 lives taken from us that day.
Sheppard honored the first responders who lost their lives at the World Trade Center.
"Those who lost their lives in the line of duty were heroes," he said. "The first responders who continued to show up and work in the days after the attacks demonstrated their own heroism. After losing colleagues, friends, and family members, firefighters, police officers, and others reported for duty at ground zero. They endured grueling shifts and dangerous conditions as they looked for survivors and searched for remains."
Senator John Barrasso said anyone over age 27 knows what happened on 9/11, and everyone learned that America had changed forever because of terrorists who had no regard for their lives or the lives of others.
"How did we miss this, and how can we make sure this never happens again," he said. "As people fled for their lives, there was a whole other group that ran not from the carnage but ran to the carnage."
After the 8:03 a.m. moment of silence, marking the time passengers on flight 93 passengers attacked the hijackers and forced the plane down in Shanksville, PA, CW3 Michael Parkins from the Wyoming Army National Guard played taps, concluding the ceremony.
"Take a moment and hug every child that is out there," Sheppard said.