CHEYENNE – On Sept. 11, 2001, Diane Moeller and Jackie Brand were working together at the telephone company on Yellowstone Road when they heard about the attacks.
Moeller said it was shocking to watch from across the country as the twin towers of the World Trade Center came down.
“I remember exactly where I was,” she said. “We brought TVs into the office upstairs and watched everything happen. ... (The ceremony) was emotional for us, because we know exactly where we were and how it felt.”
Moeller and Brand were among a crowd of people who gathered Saturday morning at the Wyoming State Capitol to mark the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The Wyoming Veterans Commission, on behalf of the Wyoming Military Department and other state and local agencies, held a wreath-laying ceremony to pay tribute to the 2,977 men, women and children who died that day.
First responders, members of the military, Cheyenne residents and visitors alike assembled around the state seal in front of the Capitol. They observed moments of silence coinciding with American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 hitting the north and south towers of the World Trade Center, American Airlines Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon, and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 into an empty field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Gov. Mark Gordon, Adjutant General Maj. Gen. Greg Porter, Wyoming Office of Homeland Security Director Lynn Budd and U.S. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., were among those present at the ceremony.
The Cheyenne All-City Children’s Chorus performed several songs, along with the Wyoming Fire Service Combined Pipes and Drums from Casper Fire-EMS Department and the Lander Fire Department.
Alex and Katie Chaney were both freshmen in high school on Sept. 11, 2001: Alex was in Spanish class, and Katie was in English class.
Alex later joined the Marine Corps. He was deployed to Afghanistan from October 2010 to April 2011, part of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The couple stopped by the ceremony with their young son, Logan, while traveling back to Missouri from a trip to Yellowstone. The family wanted to see the Capitol, but they also thought it was important to mark the day.
“It felt like something we needed to do,” Alex said.
Stationed at U.S. Army base Fort Campbell in Kentucky, Leetta Lathrop MacMillan had just returned from maternity leave when she learned about the Sept. 11 attacks.
“We turned on the TV, and she was nursing her newborn boy, and she was so afraid she was going to be called up ‘cause she had a brand new baby,” MacMillan’s mother said.
Twenty years ago, Cheyenne resident Jackie Tabor was working at the Wyoming State Library, just a few blocks from the Capitol.
For Tabor, getting up early for the ceremony was a small sacrifice to help memorialize the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
“I can give my time, because all of those people gave their time for us,” she said.