BUTTE- First responders, veterans and residents came together in Butte, Wednesday afternoon to show their support for the heroes and victims of 9/11.
The emotions from that day 18 years ago are still felt today, as dozens of Butte's first responders departed from the Butte Plaza Mall on Wednesday morning for a memorial parade across the city. "The hair on my neck stands up still because at that point it was clear to me and clear to the world that America was under attack," said Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester.
Lester says he can still vividly remember being a school resource officer and having his wife come tell him the news of the attacks. Lester says that day is one he will never forget.
Hundreds of first responders and citizens rushed into the burning towers of the World Trade Center to save as many lives as they could, none of them knowing if they would ever return. Lester says the country can never forget their heroic acts.
"It's just important that we remember the events of that day, and the lives that were lost and the heroes that came to the rescue that day and the way it transformed our entire country," said Lester.
After the parade, veterans, first responders and Butte residents gathered at Stodden Park for a ceremony to honor the victims.
Southwest Montana United Veterans Council Commander Mike Lawson helped coordinate the ceremony and says the events 18 years ago were the worst attacks on U.S. soil.
"We always have to the events that so we remember the freedoms that we have and how important it is that we keep this wonderful country we live in," Lawson said.
Butte's first responders say they'll never stop protecting the community and will always look up to the heroes of 9/11. "There will be other incidents that come and hopefully our first responders can look to what was accomplished that day by the heroes of 9/11, if that time comes we can draw from that courage," Lester said.
The Greater Butte Silver Bow Community will host a celebration of harmony in honor of 9/11 at the Butte Civic Center starting at 7 PM, the event is open to the public.