PHOTOS: Poignant remembrances in Steamboat 20 years after 9/11 terrorist attacks | SteamboatToday.com
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PHOTOS: Poignant remembrances in Steamboat 20 years after 9/11 terrorist attacks

Tears were shed, solemn expressions were exchanged and heads hung low as Steamboat Springs marked its 20th year of remembering the 9/11 terrorist attacks and how that fateful day has forever left its impact on the community.

More than a dozen people gathered Saturday afternoon at the small amphitheater inside Yampa River Botanic Park for a remembrance event that has become a Steamboat tradition.

More than a dozen visitors and local community members sat in silence, staring at a commemorative photo of the World Trade Center on Saturday afternoon to begin the 20th iteration of the 9/11 remembrance event held annually at Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat Springs.
Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

A solitary flag rests untouched at Yampa River Botanic Park's amphitheater during the 9/11 remembrance event Saturday.
Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

Local resident Harriet Freiberger quietly grieves Saturday during her 20th remembrance event for the terrorist attacks of 9/11 at Yampa River Botanic Park's amphitheater.
Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

Steamboat Springs resident Perry Ninger worked across the street from the World Trade Center while his wife, Mary Ann, worked inside the towers. Starting this year, the couple took over duties of hosting the annual 9/11 Remembrance at Yampa River Botanic Park from longtime local Harriet Freiberger.
Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

Steamboat Springs resident Margo McCombs tells the crowd gathered Saturday at Yampa River Botanic Park for the annual 9/11 remembrance about recently attending the Steamboat Institute's Freedom Conference where she heard from Tim Brown, a veteran of the FDNY who shared his experience being at Ground Zero on that fateful day and having to witness his friends and colleagues running into the buildings, some never to be seen again alive.
Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

Longtime local Harriet Freiberger sits and listens to the crowd share their connections to the tragic events of 9/11 during a remembrance event Saturday at Yampa River Botanic Park. Freiberger, who has been part of the tribute every year for the past two decades, handed over the hosting duties starting this year to Steamboat Springs locals Perry and Mary Ann Ninger.
Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

"We were a nation united then, on one team. Not a house divided," said a teary-eyed Linda Danter, a Steamboat Springs resident who spoke Saturday during the 9/11 remembrance event at Yampa River Botanic Park. Danter, who said she has many connections to the tragic events, recalled having a hard time tracking down her brother, who was working in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. "Everyone was walking across bridges — running — to get out," she recalled.
Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

A flagpole finial emblazoned with “America” stands near the amphitheater at Yampa River Botanic Park.
Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

Margi Briggs-Casson, a resident of Steamboat Springs, tells fellow residents and visitors Saturday about her many peripheral connections to the World Trade Center during the local 9/11 remembrance at the Yampa River Botanic Park. Briggs-Casson was in New York City when the twin towers were being built in the 1970s. The summer before the terrorist attacks, she went with her sisters to walk through the buildings for the first time. Briggs-Casson said she was working at Steamboat Springs Middle School on Sept. 11, 2001.
Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today

 

Did you know?


A “living memorial” paying tribute to the events of 9/11 exists in the parking lot between Steamboat Springs Middle School and Strawberry Park Elementary. The memorial consists of two tall trees meant to represent the World Trade Center towers, which stand on either side of the schools’ flagpole, and are surrounded by park benches. The pavement below is said to have been formed to resemble the Pentagon. The memorial was developed by Steamboat students in 2002 as a way to honor those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks and those who continue to serve America. There’s no dedication plaque at the site, but a special ceremony was held at the site in 2002 that included 9/11 first responders who were brought to Steamboat. In 2002, more than 50 local individuals, businesses and organizations donated lodging, meals and other amenities to help bring 75 firefighters, police and their families to Steamboat, offering a slight reprieve from the horrors they encountered.

—Bryce Martin/Steamboat Pilot & Today


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