Montanans officially represented in the stitching of the National 9/11 Flag
Montana is the 43rd state to have a patch sewn into this 'living piece of American history'.
The people and the state of Montana are now represented in the National 9/11 Flag following an official stitching ceremony at the Capitol Thursday.
The 9/11 Flag was displayed on a few tables while members of local law enforcement processed a ceremonial flag into the Capitol Rotunda accompanied by Bagpiper Beth Foster.
After the Presentation of Colors, attendees recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The Helena Symphony Chorale then led the National Anthem. Members of the Togendowangan Society (Soaring Spirits) sang a Native American honor song while playing drums.
Lieutenant Governor John Bohlinger welcomed attendees to the ceremony. "We are here today to remember the events that took place on September 11, 2001 and to honor those who were taken from us at that time," he said. After opening remarks from "New York Says Thank You" spokesperson, Denny Deters, local heroes in the armed forces and civil service were recognized for their service and asked to sew a stitch in the 9/11 Flag. Then, everyone was invited to sew a stitch.
Montana's restorative patch is made from the fabric of a flag that flew over the Montana State Veterans Cemetery at Fort Harrison.
The goal of the National 9/11 Flag Tour is to make the flag whole by the 10th year anniversary of 9/11.
When completed, the flag will become a permanent part of the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center site.
For the complete history of the National 9/11 Flag, visit www.National911Flag.org
Local heroes recognized at Thursday’s event:
Derek VanLuchene, Ryan United
Mark Squires, Helena Regional Airport
James Kitchin, Montana Highway Patrol
Mary Ellen McGowan, Volunteer
Allison Meslin, Big Arm, MT
Gary Marbut, Veteran
Ecko Edwards, Veteran, Iraq
Joe Aquino, FDNY firefighter (Missoula)
Donald Rebal, Veteran, WWII
The Children of Company E, parents deployed to Iraq
Dan Hash, Veteran, Afghanistan
Paul Kindt, National Guard
Lou Antonick, Firefighter (Helena)
Franklyn G. Ceely, Police Officer (Plains)
Helen Dawson, Veteran, WWII
Jack Salome, Veteran, Desert Storm
Capt. Diane Carlson Evans, U.S. Army Nurse Corps
Randy Vetter, Montana State Hospital, Warm Springs
Bryan Fischer, Law Enforcement Veteran
Lonie Stimac, Red Cross Volunteer
Dennis Taylor, Veteran, Vietnam
Liann Meyer, Montana Supporting Soldiers
Andrew Hampa, Veteran, Iraq
Mary Ingold, Veteran, Iraq
Arlene Matthews, St. Peter’s Hospital Volunteer
Story by Jess Armstrong, Beartooth NBC.
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