The Wyoming Veterans Commission and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon hosted a solemn commemoration wreath-laying ceremony at the Wyoming State Capitol, Saturday, September 11, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.
First responders, military, veterans, civilians, and dignitaries gathered to honor the 2,996 people who perished in New York City, The Pentagon in Washington D.C., and a field outside Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
The Cheyenne All-City Children's Chorus, the Wyoming Fire Service Combined Pipes and Drums from Casper and Fire-EMS Department, and Lander Fire Department performed at the ceremony. The Wyoming Highway Patrol posted the colors.
The ceremony began at 6:30 a.m. and was emceed by Tim Sheppard, the Wyoming Veterans Commission Executive Director.
Speakers included Governor Gordon, United States Senator John Barrasso, Wyoming Adjutant General MG Greg Porter, and Wyoming Office of Homeland Security Director Lynn Budd. Each one spoke about where they were when they heard the news of the terrorist attacks on our nation and stories of the bravery of men and women of that fateful day.
From the Wyoming Veterans Commission website, "Twenty years after that devastating day that every American who was alive that day remembers, we witnessed the American People's resolve and the best of our spirit even in a time of tragedy," Governor Gordon said. "We remember that day and honor all those who sacrificed so much, who answered the call, and who continue to ensure the world remembers there is no better friend, no worse enemy than the people of the United of America. It is right that we honor all those this day and that in so doing, we can affirm that all that day cost us has not been in vain."
The ceremony had 20 seconds of silence at 6:46 a.m. when Flight 11 hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Flight 175 hit the South Tower at 7:03 a.m., and at 7:37 a.m., Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. The final moment of silence came at 8:03 a.m. when Flight 93 crashed into a field outside Shanksville, PA. At the end of the final moment of silence, a military member played Taps in honor of all the fallen.
Laramie County Fire Districts 1 and 2 ladder trucks unfurled a large American flag from between the extended ladders in front of the Wyoming State Capitol. LCFD 1 also brought out Rescue 2, a 2002 Saulsbury Cyclone II Heavy Rescue vehicle purchased from the Remembrance Rescue Project. The truck served the downtown Brooklyn, New York area for 10 years post 9/11. LCFD 1 restored the truck's exterior in remembrance of the two crews that perished with the original vehicle.
From the Wyoming Veterans Commission website, "This event will preserve the memories of the lives lost and serve as a remembrance of those who responded to this awful act of terrorism, Sheppard said. "We Vowed never to forget, and on this day, we will remember."