09/13/2011 06:34 AM by Kay Rossi (KRTV News)
NEW YORK CITY- Taking part in an international memorial for victims of the September 11th attacks was the primary reason that 16 Montana firefighters traveled to New York last week, but it wasn't t… Click to Read More and see additional updates
09/13/2011 06:34 AM by Kay Rossi (KRTV News)
NEW YORK CITY- Taking part in an international memorial for victims of the September 11th attacks was the primary reason that 16 Montana firefighters traveled to New York last week, but it wasn't the only reason - they also had time for a reunion with New York City firefighters.
Several NYC firefighters spent time in the Treasure State in 2002, and they said that it just the "therapy" they needed after the stressful year that followed the 9/11 attacks. But the group got more than just rest - they also made life-long friends.
Joe McHugh of FDNY's Ladder 25 unit said that his team lost seven firefighters on 9/11. "You're never going to heal, you'll never recover. You'll never be the person you were September 10th, 2001," McHugh noted.
The year that followed was not only full of mourning, but also constant reminders of the tragedy.
"These guys needed to be taken care of. They lost seven out of this house, seven of their brothers out of this house, 343 from the whole department and they needed to do something, they needed to get away," David Van Son of Great Falls Fire Rescue observed.
Carol Adler of Great Falls invited some of the NYC firefighters to get away to her home state - Montana - and that's where the men of Ladder 25 first connected with Great Falls Fire Rescue.
"Everything was beautiful, the scenery was amazing, but just the camaraderie with the guys was my favorite part of the whole trip," McHugh said
"As they put it, we treated them like kings, they say, but we just say Montana hospitality," Van Son remarked.
Immediately after the trip, the New Yorkers extended an invitation for the Big Sky firefighters to come to the Big Apple someday.
"So then they went ahead and treated us like kings when we came back," Van Son said.
And ever since, they've been buddies.
"Facebook is a good thing. You know, I talk to Joe on Facebook quite a bit and when I found out we were coming out here, that's the first person I went to," Van Son observed.
After nine years, the firefighters were able to meet up in New York City for the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks.
"It was great to see Dave...we didn't see everybody who was with us but it was great to see them. It was awesome," McHugh said.
Van Son echoed the sentiment: "Absolutely amazing. It's nine years since we've seen the guys and that connection has never gone away, you know, big hugs, emotional, words can't even explain it. It's fantastic."
The two groups were so happy to see each other, they're already talking about creating a tradition to meet up every 10 years.
09/12/2011 11:06 AM by Erin Yeykal (KBZK Bozeman)
Back on Sept. 11, 2001 Alex Gallub was working as a district manager for a specialty coffee company in New York. At 8:45 a.m. that morning he says he was usually upstairs in his office in the World Trade Center's north tower, but instead, he was downstairs at their shop on the ground floor when American Airlines Flight 11 smashed into the building.
"We had this swinging door. I was in the kitchen area, the swinging doors with the little hole cut out so you could see (if you were) going to hit someone with the door. I was looking through that and that just started to shake like an earthquake, that's what I thought," Alex remembers.
He watched through that door as his staff rushed by.
"Nobody had a clue what was going on at the time. So it was just a matter of following the crowd," he said.
Alex followed a wave of people outside onto the streets of New York. Once outside, metal raining down around him, Alex wouldn't know what happened until about 15 minutes later.
"I remember hearing the jet engine noise and so at first I felt very protected and safe because I thought they had scrambled some F-16s or something to fly around and make sure everything was OK, but then the second one hit," he remembers.
At 9:03 a.m. United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center; its impact occurred about 15 minutes after the first plane struck the north tower.
"When I looked up into the sky and I saw all this debris coming down I remember thinking, ‘OK, this is how I'm going to die,'" he said.
Alex remembers covering his head and running. He headed uptown and found a phone to call his parents in Queens to let them know he was OK. Heading home, he remembers hearing news of the other plane crashes on a portable radio that a woman was carrying. After 9:30 a.m. American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon. Then, United Airlines Flight 93, crashed in a field in Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
His memories from that day, he says, are still coming back to him. He recalls the silence of throngs of people gathered together but not speaking. He remembers his friend, hurt, being loaded into an ambulance outside the World Trade Center. He remembers walking.
Making his way home, he recalls walking across a bridge and seeing cars full of people. Every car, every truck, was full of people. People helping others to get where they were going.
"There was already the camaraderie you saw as a result of what happened throughout the country, but you already had that in a microcosm of just Manhattan. There were no strangers that day."
After the attacks, Alex was out of work. He went to work with his father for awhile before moving to Livingston, Montana with his then-wife in February 2004.
Born and raised in New York, Alex says Montana is now his home. He's happy to trade skyscrapers for mountains.
Earlier this year, Alex says he visited Ground Zero for the first time since he left New York. He says he was visiting the city, sitting in a bar, when he got the news that Osama bin Laden had been killed.
While that news has brought him some closure, Alex says that day still haunts him.
"I can't watch footage of the planes hitting anymore without getting very upset by it. Until this day, it just takes you back."
09/12/2011 09:48 AM by Kay Rossi (KRTV Great Falls)
NEW YORK CITY- Sunday was the day that a group of Montana firefighters had been waiting for - the day they were able to pay tribute to the fallen heroes of the September 11th attacks.
They traveled cross-country to participate in a motorcycle rally with thousands of their peers on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
At Riverside Park in Manhattan, 343 flags fill the lawn - one flag for each firefighter who died.
Grey skies looming overhead served as a backdrop for what could easily have become a solemn gathering.
But the roar of nearly 4,000 motorcycles filled the air with excitement and drew crowds on every corner of the Firemen's Monument.
Joe Kitowski of the Bozeman Fire Department said, "We came in, all the FDNY guys were standing on the side and were shaking our hands and giving us high fives. It was pretty touching."
Adam Marsh of Great Falls Fire Rescue noted, "It was a pretty neat experience seeing all the guys come through and a lot of them had different memorials on their bikes for the September 11th attacks and different emblems, so it was really neat."
And speakers from the International Association of Fire Fighters encouraged a crowd of thousands to see this as a day of celebration.
"When we really saw the worst in humanity, who, in a cowardly attack, attacked this country and innocent citizens, but it was also the day we saw the best of what this country is really all about," Harold Schaitberger of the IAFF said.
While they mourn the loss of their peers, firefighters say they're uplifted with the reminder to support each other everyday as they serve in harm's way.
"That's what this is all about. We're all doing the same job every day and we're here and part of our job is supporting each other," Kitowski said.
Chris Newman of Great Falls Fire Rescue observed, "We're a brotherhood. There's nothing a firefighter wouldn't do for another firefighter. That's just the way it goes."
"Whether you're from Texas, Montana or New York, we're all one when we come together for a situation like this," Marsh added.
It was one of the most tragic days in the country's history, but as the memorial showed, what was meant to tear us apart, continues to bring us together.
09/12/2011 06:52 AM by Alex Schwier (KPAX Missoula)
MISSOULA- The Garden City commemorated the 10th anniversary of 9/11 terrorist attacks by hosting a "never forget" service on Sunday evening.
Missoulians came out to remember, reminisce and give thanks to all those who lost their lives on 9/11.
The middle of the Memorial Rose Garden featured hundreds of tiny American flags, each one representing individuals who died in the attack.
The Celtic Dragons started off the event with music which was followed by the pledge of allegiance and the national anthem.
Members of the Missoula community, including soldiers and first responders shared their stories about the impact 9/11 had on them with the assembled crowd of onlookers.
09/12/2011 06:27 AM by Tara Oster (KPAX Missoula)
MISSOULA- Thousands of Montana Grizzly fans gave injured Ronan Marine Tomy Parker a standing ovation at the game, for his service during this weekend's home opener.
Parker has been doing physical therapy in California and learning how to walk on robotic limbs and has made major progress since he was injured in December and he's one of just of four people in the world to work with new technology.
Parker lost both of his legs and much of his left hand in Afghanistan and while he told us that his robotic limbs aren't yet reliable for him to use all the time, it's a step in the right direction.
"It's hard to tell what they're gonna do, They kinda have a mind of their own. Sometimes they'll give out, sometimes they don't want to work, so [we're] still working bugs out, but I still walk on them every day for a little while."
Parker added that he doesn't know how long his recovery will take, but he's not going to quit until it's perfect. And the next step is getting a prosthetic for his left hand.
"I gotta talk to the plastic surgeons when I get back in October and then we're hoping to get a surgery to make it smaller and then get a prosthetic."
Even while Parker has been busy with his own recovery, he also recently attended a Wounded Warrior Fundraiser for other wounded Marines of his unit, called Battle of the Capital.
"It was a bunch of high school teams from around the area that came in to play football and then they charged admission and all the proceeds through admission or food sales or any T-shirts...of anything they sold are going to wounded Marines of (Unit) 35."
But at Saturday's Griz football game, the focus shifted from fund raising to honoring Parker.
"It's pretty cool that the Grizzlies invited me here in remembrance of 9/11 and everything. It's an honor to be down here on the field," Parker commented.
Now he's home Parker is getting to move into his new house, complete with a man cave.
"Every guy wants to have that special part of their house where testosterone and manly stuff lives."
His house is attached to his parents' home and Parker says it's almost finished. The only thing left is the electrical. He added it came together quickly with lots of help from the community.
"Thank you to everybody that helped. There's so many people that helped, I don't even know who all helped!"
The standing ovation Parker received meant a lot to him. He told us the last time he was in Washington-Grizzly Stadium was in high school when he played football.
09/11/2011 05:07 PM by Alex Schwier (KPAX News)
MISSOULA- More Montana Army National Guard soldiers arrived home to Missoula and across Montana on Sunday.
Some 36 soldiers from the 1-163rd Cavalry Regiment landed at Neptune Aviation Sunday afternoon after serving for 10 months in Iraq.
This is the last large groups of soldiers to return to Missoula and from here on out, the returning groups will be 10 people or under.
By Friday, around 115 more soldiers will be home, an estimated 80% of the cavalry to return back to the states.
Brigadier General Quinn said although every soldier's first thought is their family, as they got off the plane Sunday, he is sure they were also thinking of the significance of arriving home on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.
"In the back of each of their minds, as they're smiling, walking off that plane, they know what they helped American to keep terrorism away from our homefront," said Commander Quinn.
The Montana Army National Guard said they did not plan their flight around the 10th anniversary of September 11th.
09/11/2011 05:02 PM by Tara Oster (KPAX News)
STEVENSVILLE- People lined the streets of Stevensville today for a ceremony in memory of those service members who lost their lives on 9/11.
A silent emergency vehicle processional down Main Street brought many departments from across the Bitterroot Valley together Sunday afternoon.
An hour long "Decade of Remembrance" service followed at Veteran's Park where the names were read of all of the 60 police and 343 firefighters who died at Ground Zero.
Debra Howard came to observe the event, which also marks ten years to the day that her son joined the military.
She said she's glad the event was a somber remembrance.
"It was just, let's remember the people and all the lives that were affected that day. And it sent so many ripples out there. There's so many people everywhere that's affected it's just; it's nice that they took a day to remember it."
09/11/2011 04:21 PM by Chet Layman (KBZK News)
BOZEMAN- Most American's remember every detail of where they were, and what they were doing 10 years ago, the day the world changed. However, for millions of young people those memories are a little different. Becuase of their ages, they lack a reference point to time before 9-11.
High school Juniors were just first graders when terrorists took control of those four aircraft. Many of them remember that day, but only because of the sadness and confusion of the adults around them.
They knew nothing of the twin towers, the pentagon, or the concept of terrorism. Today, they no nothing else. Their entire school careers have been lived in the shadow of terror alerts, TSA screenings, and war.
Belgrade's Bob Visscher, Marina Layman, Cassidy Pfingsten, and Blake Watson talked with us about the past ten years. None of them knew what really went on in the World Trade Center before 9-11. They all remember being confused. They knew the families were scared and sad, but they didn't understand why.
The four high school juniors, now 16 years old, understand the world changed that day, but they don't really understand to what extent. They now if they travel, they are screened as being suspected terrorists and only recognize the twin towers as tall buildings in old movies.
All four noted that 9-11 was a major date in history, they realize that all we do today stems from that date, but they have adapted to life after 9-11 because, from 6 years old to 16, they've known nothing else.
09/11/2011 01:48 PM by KPAX News
WISDOM - The Stewart Fire, on the Beaverhead-Deer Lodge National Forest, has burned 2,430 acres.
Sunday morning, as the entire nation is remembering the 10th anniversary of 9-11, the fire team also participated in a remembrance at the fire camp. It is easy to vividly recall where you were on that day 10 years ago. Members the Stewart fire team, who have been together since before 2001, were on a wildland fire South of Livingston, MT called the Fridley fire. As they participated in a moment of silence Sunday morning honoring those who died in the horrific events of the day, thoughts went back to the impact on the personnel assigned to that fire. The fire community draws on resources from throughout the nation and they did have personnel on that fire who were either from those impacted areas, or had co-workers and family directly involved. The team will never forget.
The weather to the North and East of us is highlighted by fire weather watch concerns Sunday. They're predicted to have a 10% chance of wetting rain, and there is a possibility of thunderstorm activity as the day progresses. Winds are predicted to be west at 7-12 mph and temperatures much like Saturday in the mid 60 degrees with relative humidity in the mid 20% range.
This weather prediction means that we expect the fire will act very similar to what was seen Saturday. Expect the fire behavior to pick up around noon and be fairly active throughout the burning period of the day. It will be visible again with the smoke and occasional torching being seen throughout the area.
Operations Sunday will again be focused on improvement of the structure protection and mitigation actions on the various structures in proximity to the fire area. The long term planning for the continued management of this fire will also be continued. That planning includes looking at all possible projections for fire growth, and the pro-active development of strategies to manage those possibilities.
The base camp was visited Saturday by a group of students from Kyrgastan and their Montana National Guard hosts. They were given a tour of the facilities and how our system of wildland fire response is managed in this country.
Personnel numbers on the fire are at 114. Those numbers will vary on an almost daily basis as the operational needs change based on the fire behavior. Equipment numbers and types will also change rapidly. The fire currently has 2 crews, 2 helicopters, 1water tender, and 1 engine assigned to it. One crew was demobilized and sent to a nearby fire.
Safety of the firefighters and the public on this incident will not be compromised. Private in-holdings within the National Forest and forest infrastructure protection will be included in the planned actions. Homeowners need to be thinking of protective actions and mitigation measures they can take for fire protection considerations.
09/11/2011 11:07 AM by KPAX News
Congressman Denny Rehberg reflects on 9/11, 10 years ago.
Rehberg was in Washington D.C. when he received word. He talks about singing God Bless America on the steps of the Capital building.
You can view his message by clicking here.
09/11/2011 08:30 AM by Tara Oster (KPAX News)
MISSOULA- Missoula firefighters were honored at Saturday's Montana Grizzlies football game as the Governor's Office of Community Service recognized the department as the "volunteer of the game".
Montana Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger presented three of the firemen with a football signed by the 2011 Grizzlies.
Firefighters were also recognized at the Bobcat opening game in Bozeman in honor of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
09/10/2011 06:30 PM by Tara Oster (KPAX News)
MISSOULA- Local heroes were recognized at Saturday's Griz game in honor of the 9/11 Day of Service and Remembrance and among them was Lance Corporal Tomy Parker.
The Ronan Marine, who lost both his legs and most of his left hand in Afghanistan last December, is in Montana this month on leave and the Grizzlies invited him to the field to pay tribute before the start of the game.
"It's pretty cool that the Grizzlies invited me here in remembrance of 9/11 and everything. It's an honor to be down here on the field," he said. "I haven't been down here since I came to one of their football camps in high school so it's an interesting experience."
Parker was greeted to thunderous applause from the audience as he went out on to the field, and handshakes and "thank yous" as he left to watch the game.
We'll have more on his recovery process during the Sunday news on Montana's News Station.
09/10/2011 04:54 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
MISSOULA- Missoulians will pause to remember the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Sunday. Beginning at 7 p.m. in Rose Memorial Garden Park, police, firefighters, EMTs, military and civilians will gather to pay tribute.
Tiny American flags provided by the Exchange Club of Missoula will be placed in front of the Vietnam Memorial starting at 6 p.m. with the service to begin promptly at 7 p.m.
The ROTC Color Guard of the University of Montana, VFW Post 209 Honor Guard and the American Legion Post 27 Color Guard, led by members of the Celtic Dragon Pipe Band commanded by John Haffey and Bob Phillips will be among those taking part.
Prayers will be given by members of the American Legion Auxiliary and VFW Auxiliary.
Following short speeches of tribute by representatives of the Missoula Rural Fire Department, ROTC of the University of Montana and the Missoula County Sheriff's Department, the VFW Post 209 will shoot three volleys for 21 firings as a salute to those who died and a bell, donated by a Korean War veteran will be rung 2,986 times to commemorate those who died.
The United Veteran's Council of Missoula and Ravalli counties and the Exchange Club of Missoula have hosted the Never Forget September 11 Service for five years and as usual the event is free and open to the public.
09/10/2011 04:13 PM by Drew Trafton
BILLINGS- Saturday morning, 30 of Montana's recently returned National Guard were honored at a Freedom Salute Ceremony.
28 members of the 67th Signal Company, which fought in Iraq, and 2 members of the 194 1st Contract Contingency Team from Afghanistan were given commemorative gifts in appreciation of their service.
The 30 troops were fighting the War on Terror for a year.
During the ceremony the soldiers were reminded of the rich heritage of the National Guard, the appreciation of their state for their service, and the selfless sacrifice an entire family makes when a soldier is deployed.
"They give the families some of the appreciation they deserve," said Sergeant First Class Bill Hanson. "Obviously, you can never give them enough appreciation, but, it's really important that they understand how important they are to the soldiers when they're gone."
There were several soldiers at the ceremony who had served two tours of duty during the War on Terror, and one soldier who had served 3 tours.
Topics: Montana National Guard, Freedom Salute Ceremony
09/09/2011 02:27 PM by Angela Marshall (KPAX News)
MISSOULA- This weekend marks the 10th year since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Therapeutic Counselor Maureen McInnis began volunteering with the Montana Red Cross in Great Falls in the late 1990's and on September 11, 2001, she was called by the American Red Cross for a much greater duty, to serve as a disaster mental health counselor for victims of the 9/11 attacks at Ground Zero in New York City.
While we pause for a moment of silence on Sunday to remember the lives lost, Maureen says it's important to remember those still coping with the disaster.
"Like in my book, I talk about his young man who worked for the insurance company. And, he had northing to do with the collapse of the building. But, part of his job was to have to listen to people's stories in order to do their insurance claims. And so, he just heard story after story and really had no way to deal with his own information and grief issue. Probably the biggest challenge was helping people understand the enormity of the event," McInnis said.
Coming up on Sunday, CBS News will present live coverage of the events commemorating the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center, including memorial ceremonies in Shanksville, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC. The coverage begins at 6 a.m. and concludes with a moment of silence at 8:35 a.m.
09/09/2011 12:11 PM by Melissa Anderson (KXLH Helena)
HELENA- In commemoration of the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the Helena Patriot Day Coalition honored all uniformed services during a Friday morning event.
About 170 people attended the 9th annual Patriot Day Prayer Breakfast with special recognition being given to Staff Sgt Russell Smith of the 1-163rd, who just returned from his second tour overseas.
Speakers paid tribute to those who lost their lives as well as those who continue to serve our country to protect our freedom.
Brigadier General John Walsh of the Montana National Guard said, "In particular, I ask you to honor the memory of the 38 Montanans who gave their last full measure in the line of duty."
"Patriot Day is now a national holiday to remember that event. Along with remembering that event we need to remember all the heroes of America from before, during and since the 9/11 attacks," event organizer Karan Lapham noted.
Lapham was honored with a special plaque and coin. The coin has the number 343 on one side which signifies the number of firefighters who lost their lives during 9/11.
On Sunday, a 9/11 memorial event in Helena will begin at 2:00 from the corner of 6th and Last Chance Gulch.
Participants are invited to walk to Women's Park where a special ceremony is planned.
The groups sponsoring the event include Montana Supporting Soldiers, The American Legion and the Shining Thistle Pipe Band.
09/09/2011 12:07 PM by Jeff Womack (KTVQ Billings)
BILLINGS- As many as 1,000 flags are being displayed on the MSU Billings College of Technology campus to remember 9/11.
The Healing Field hosted by Billings Exchange Clubs for the second year in a row to reflect on the attacks that changed our lives 10 years ago this weekend.
The flags are for sale for $100.00 on site from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. and at U.S. Bank locations. Some of the money raised will be donated to the 9/11 monument which features a beam from the World Trade Center in New York. A portion of this week's proceeds will be given to local veterans.
A special dedication of the beam memorial along with a reflection ceremony is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m. at the College of Technology.
The flags will remain on display until Monday September 12th in field adjacent to the Montana State University Billings College of Technology, at 3803 Central Ave.
09/09/2011 09:53 AM by Kay Rossi (KRTV Great Falls)
NEW YORK CITY- Firefighters from Montana are in New York City to attend memorial events to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and 10 of those firefighters will be participating in a motorcycle motorcade on Sunday.
Nearly 2,000 firefighters from across the nation are expected to participate in the ride, which will take them along a 60 mile journey from from the town of Newburgh, New York, into New York City.
Three of the firefighters are from Great Falls Fire Rescue, and they're not sure what to expect, but they their participation will be meaningful.
"The whole point of this is to remember the 343 firefighters that perished that day, ten years ago, on September 11th, and to honor their memory and let the families know that we haven't forgotten. I just think this is going to be a once in a lifetime experience for me," Great Falls firefighter Jason Baker said.
"I wasn't able to make it out in 2002 for the initial memorial and I told myself after that I'm never going to pass up the chance to do something like this again," he concluded.
09/09/2011 07:36 AM by Laura Wilson (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- Kalispell organizers are planning a local event for community members to remember those who lost their lives ten years ago in the 9/11 attacks.
The Flathead Valley Republican Women are sponsoring the third annual "Celebrate America" event, that was originally created as an outreach for families to come together on each September 11th.
Flathead Valley emergency response units will be on display this year and people will be on hand to answer questions. Organizers say this year its important to see how the county has moved forward.
"I think we might be safer because hopefully military and first responders are now more aware about what can happen, so I would hope they would be prepared to respond in case of other attacks," Flathead County Republican Women Vice President Caroline Solomon commented
The keynote speaker for the event is FOX news military analyst Thomas G. McInerney. Tickets are $10 and it will take place on Sunday at the Flathead County Fairgrounds.
09/09/2011 07:08 AM by News Staff (KTVQ Billings)
ROUNDUP- The community of Roundup is planning a special ceremony this coming Sunday on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
Sponsored by American Legion Post 18 and the Roundup Ministerial Association, Sunday's ceremony will begin at 1pm at the south end of Roundup's Main Street near the War Memorial.
The ceremony will feature a military color guard, the playing of taps, scripture readings, and a special siren blast from the Roundup Fire Department.
The public is invited to attend.
09/08/2011 01:25 PM by KPAX/KAJ Media Center
ARLEE- The town of Arlee will be holding a special event on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terror attacks.
The Arlee Volunteer Fire Department is inviting everyone to attend their first flag raising, memorial and open house at the new fire station on September 11, 2011 at noon.
Arlee Fire Chief Ken Light will be serving as Master of Ceremonies for the event that will feature the Mission Honor Guard, the Salish school's drum group and the Arlee post of the American Legion.
An open house to tour the new facility will take place after the ceremony.
09/07/2011 06:00 PM by Kay Rossi (KRTV Great Falls)
GREAT FALLS- As the world begins to look back 10 years ago and remember the September 11th attacks, some Great Falls firefighters are recognizing a special connection they made just after the attacks.
Battalion Chief Chuck Rovreit still remembers vividly learning of the 2001 attacks, recalling, "Somebody said, 'Hey turn the TV on,' and at that time it was when the first plane hit...The thought of having it as a terrorist attack was probably not, it was a pilot error or a plane malfunction, and then when the second plane hit it just drove it home what actually had just happened."
Even though the events happened on the other side of the country, Rovreit says Great Falls firefighters felt a unique sense of loss for their peers in New York.
"It's a camaraderie. It's a family. It didn't matter if you were from Florida, or from Venezuela or Maine, you were my brother. Especially at that time," Rovreit said.
A year after the tragedy, a small group of firefighters decided they would take a trip out to New York City to remember those lost by attending a memorial service, and that's when Great Falls and New York firefighters formed a bond that year.
"Our relationships were mainly with the families of those people that died and you hear them talk about, even a year later they didn't talk about them as 'He was,' it was still 'He is." You know, that factor of he's still with us kind of thing. I can't imagine the healing process behind that," Rovreit said.
And they've been in contact ever since.
Now another group of Great Falls firefighters will head to the East coast for what is sure to be an emotional remembrance at Ground Zero, as the country prepares to mark the 10th anniversary of the day.
Captain Doug Neil said, "It's important to us. We have a personal connection with it and we just chose to go."
Sixteen firefighters from across Montana will attend a memorial service in New York on September 11th, and while they mourn the loss of their brothers, they say remembering the events gives them a sense of gratitude.
Rovreit said, "The fact of your longevity or your life expectancy really isn't, sometimes, up to you. You can take care of your health and things like that, but there are other factors that you may not be able to influence and to the scale of what we saw there, really drove it home."
Reporter Kay Rossi is joining the Montana group during their journey in New York City; she will be filing reports throughout the week.
09/07/2011 04:23 PM by Dax VanFossen (KAJ News)
KALISPELL- A special memorial to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks will mix children, firefighters and American flags.
The event is being held this Friday in Kalispell with St. Matthews students learning how firefighters, police officers and those who serve in the Armed Forces do what they do.
Ferndale firefighter Dominic Kovacevic says students will follow a bagpiper from St Matthews church to the Kalispell Fire Department carrying 343 flags which represent every firefighter killed on September 11th.
"We've been teaching those lessons to the students all this week at the school and then after the memorial mass they're gonna come over and show their thanks, their appreciation to the Kalispell Fire Department and also Kalispell Police and the Flathead County Sheriff's Department, the Emergency Medical Folks, the Search and Rescue people. So it's a way for the kids to come over with their flags and say thank you."
The students will walk from St Matthews Church to the Kalispell Fire Department at 10:30 a.m. Friday.
09/01/2011 08:07 AM by Marnee Banks (KXLH Helena)
HELENA- The tenth anniversary of the deadly attacks of September 11, 2001, is nearing, and Carroll College is taking part in reflecting on the impact of that day.
World Trade Center Environmental Healthcare Center director Terry Miles is visiting Helena this week to host a lecture.
His presentation focuses on the health impacts related to the terrorist attacks. Miles runs a hospital in New York City which treats physical and mental diseases related to 9/11.
"Our world changed on 9/11. If you are living in New York, if you're living in Montana, if you were living anywhere else in the world, we started evolving into something different in our culture and the way we look at things. So even if you were viewing this from a distance in whatever way that you were there was an impact," Miles said.
He added that about 500,000 people's health have been affected by the 9/11 attacks.
To learn more about his program in New York City you can attend his presentation "A Decade of Dust and Disease" on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Carroll College Campus Center. Click here to learn more.
In related news, a piece of the World Trade Center twin towers will soon find a new home in Whitefish.
Whitefish Fire Chief Tom Kennelly says the department hopes to have three pieces of steel from the World Trade Center wreckage by Sunday, September 11th.
The department learned about the program two years ago and wrote a letter requesting pieces of steel for Whitefish's Emergency Services Center near Baker Avenue.
The shipping of the steel is being paid for by the Whitefish Firefighters Association.
08/05/2011 08:05 AM by Melissa Anderson (KXLH Helena)
HELENA- The National 9/11 Flag made its way to the Capitol in Helena on Thursday. The historic flag serves to remind Americans that nation has come together and continues to heal, as the 10 year anniversary of the devastating terrorist attack approaches.
Members nominated from across the state came together and placed their stitch into the original torn and tattered flag that flew over the World Trade Center.
"It was an emotional and humbling experience to join so many other Montanans to add a stitch to this flag," former Marine Dennis Taylor said.
"It was quite an emotional honor. I am very very grateful to be able to do it. It's a long time coming and it's a healing process for America," added Liann Meyer, founder of Montana Supporting Soldiers.
Montana is the 43rd state to receive the flag. The Montana restorative patch being sown into the flag was constructed from fabric from a flag that flew over the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison.
06/28/2011 05:55 PM by Allyson Weller (KPAX News)
MISSOULA- Montana residents had the chance to see a World Trade Center artifact without even leaving the state for several hours on Tuesday.
The 35' long, 6,000 pound piece, stopped in various cities across Montana on its way to Kennewick Washington where it will be part of a September 11th memorial.
The driver, Jack Heffern, says the journey, which started last Tuesday, has been exciting and emotional. He says on the highway people will honk, wave, salute, and even take video with their phones.
"The stops I've been making across Montana, I'm getting everything from thank you, good job, to tears and lots of stories about how their children or their grandchildren joined the service after this, how they're still in the service because if it, and even of their family members who lost their lives in the September 11th attacks," said Heffern.
Heffen picked up the artifact at JFK in New York last Tuesday. He is from Helena and wanted to give Montana residents a chance to see it.
The artifact will arrive in Washington, Wednesday morning, just in time for Fourth of July festivities.