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Madison County Remembers 9-11

MADISON COUNTY, Idaho (KIFI) - The Madison Fire Department (MFD) is leading the way for all-day remembrances of Sept. 11.

The day began with a 7 a.m. memorial service. The Madison Pipe Brigade was there to play Amazing Grace. This was followed by lowering the flag to half-mast with a moment of silence.

Firefighters who participated in the memorial say that the events of September 11 impact what they do as firefighters every day.

"It encouraged me to see what they were doing and what they stood for. And where they were going, and me following in their footsteps, so to speak. So, I love that I can see that I'm still working hard and fighting those fires," MFD firefighter Jordan Kirsch said.

Kirsch adds his memory of the day is still vivid in his mind.

"I remember being in class in sixth grade back in 2001 and remembering the event as it unfolded and the entire class, the entire school was silent. Nothing got done that day. But, what we took from that day on is going forward and making our nation better," Kirsch said.

For Deputy Chief Troyce Miskin, the memorial is a necessary part of how he honors the promise he made to never forget.

"Each year is a little bit different. We don't know on any given year how many people are going to show up, but we know we're going to be here. We like to spend the time, even though it's just a few minutes each 9/11, just to remember something that's important to us," Deputy Chief Miskin said.

Miskin said on the day of the attacks, he was training to be an EMT. He said while he couldn't be at Ground Zero lending a hand to those in New York, he knew then he wanted to do what he could to help save as many lives as he could.

"That's just kind of that's always impacted me. Just that desire to do something to help somebody. And the people that we work with here, the fire department, that's that's what their desire is. And it's good to be associated with good men and women like that," Deputy Chief Miskin said.

At Porter Park in Rexburg, the district engineered a Memorial Walk around the perimeter of the park. It guides participants through the minute-by-minute events of Sept. 11.

Many people had a chance to walk through it and read the signs Monday morning. Hailey Veckstrand was taking a walk with her daughter when she stumbled upon the Memorial Walk. She shared how immediately the flags and signs sparked her interest.

"As I'm sitting and reading the signs, I can't believe some people actually not only lived through this and survived, but live with those memories today. So, I'd say it's been pretty emotional," Veckstrand said.

She mentioned trying to understand the history of the day and take in the many stories from that day is how she hopes to continue to honor that promise.

"When you check your social media in the morning, you see all the 911 posts. 'I'll never forget that this happened. Never forget that this happened.' But, do you really even know what it's about? And so I think reading the accounts of what happened and understanding that history, I think it's a good way to kind of continue that, not forgetting about it so very well," Veckstrand said.

Another participant in the Memorial Walk Melanie Wescott Joncas shares how her emotions swelled while walking around the park.

"I'm glad they're being honored, I'm glad we're remembering this today. And, I guess it's just sadness that all those people died and that we were attacked so mercilessly and I'm just grateful that I'm an American. I'm glad I'm grateful for all of the blessings I've had to be here," Wescott Joncas said.

She added this is an event that will stick out in her mind for the rest of her life.

"I happened to go to New York a little bit after that. That's when they were cleaning everything up. And it was pretty sad. But I knew someone who was actually he was some kind of police officer that actually was there going through the debris and I just I mean, all those ashes, there was probably some human remains with all those ashes that came from those twin towers, I hate to say, but it's just very sad," Wescott Joncas said.

Samuel was also participating in the walk. He is in the country for school at BYU-Idaho and comes from Ecuador. He says his parents shared their stories and memories of the day with him.

"I'm 19 years old, so no, I don't remember. But I've heard a lot of stories, from my dad, from my mother, they have told me about it, what they recall of that day. I also then throughout the years, these events really interested me. So I watched some documentaries that are online, and some YouTube videos," Samuel said.

He says it was cool for him to see the memorial in Rexburg, and it sparked strong emotions as well.

"It's really cool to see the unity of this country. I've been reading the signs and I just can stand amazed at all the work of all the people that work together. And it's a sad story, but also a powerful story from what I've been reading, all the signs, although they contain really sad moments. They also have like, powerful words of hope," Samuel said.

He says this is an event that reminds all of us of the great things humanity can do in the wake of great tragedy.

"It's tragic, but it's also powerful to see how people can we can become humans and we can through all these difficult moments is when humanity stands the most. And that's what I really appreciate or admire about this country and these people," Samuel said.

The Memorial Walk will stay at the park until 7 p.m. Monday. All are welcome to walk through and honor their promise to Never Forget.

Article Topic Follows: Rexburg

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Braydon Wilson

Braydon is a reporter for Local News 8 and Eyewitness News 3.


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