Commemorative events organized by the First Assembly of God Church were held around the Minot community Saturday in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and in honor of Ward County emergency services personnel.
"It's such an important day for our nation, and we want to honor the event and the emergency services personnel here in Minot with a special day of remembrance. We want to remember the men and women who serve in Ward County who lay their lives on the line every day," John Brady, Pastor of First Assembly of God Church in Minot, said.
The day began with a 5K Walk in Oak Park, sponsored by Market Pharmacy, with proceeds going to the Minot Fire Department. The day then continued with a lunch and a 9/11 Commemorative Ceremony under the First Assembly of God Church tent.
People pay their respects to those who died in the line of duty by viewing the newly dedicated monument for Ward County emergency services personnel at Fire Station 1 in Minot Saturday.
During the ceremony, police, fire departments and EMS service personnel from around Ward County were recognized for their service.
Master Sergeant Michael Carswell of Minot Air Force Base also spoke, sharing his memories of the day. Carswell was stationed at the Pentagon on the day of the attacks.
"Like the rest of the world, I watched the attacks on New York on television and I thought, 'I'm in an ideal place for a terrorist attack.' Then 10 or 15 minutes later I felt the impact. I walked into the hallway and I smelled the jet fuel," Carswell said.
Carswell recalled his fight-or-flight instincts kicked in, and he and others hurried to exit the building.
"I remember looking up in that beautiful blue sky, and there was a single column of black smoke," he said.
Carswell said he would never forget the 184 people who lost their lives at the Pentagon that day, as they were his co-workers.
"I thank you all for not forgetting, not just the people that died that day, but all the service people ... and our sacrifices," Carswell said.
After the ceremony, a parade of emergency services vehicles and ceremony participants traveled to Minot Fire Station 1, where a monument honoring Ward County emergency services personnel was unveiled and dedicated.
An inscription on the back of the monument lists the names of emergency services personnel in Ward County who have died in the line of duty. At the monument's unveiling, the names were read and any family members present were honored.
"It's (the monument) not only to remember those we have lost but to remind us to be safe when we are doing our duties. We train to keep ourselves safe, to do our jobs properly," Rod Tryhus, Chaplain for Minot Rural Fire Department, said.
"We want everyone to go home after every call," he added.