September 7, 2012



Elizabeth Fullon, City College, 247-3085
Dan Carter, University Relations, 657-2269


MSU BILLINGS NEWS SERVICES — A year after the Billings community dedicated a memorial to honor those who died and served in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001 tragedy, a commemoration ceremony will be held at its site at City College at Montana State University Billings.


A wreath is placed on the 911 Memorial at City College

The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept., 11 at the site of Montana’s 9/11 Memorial at City College (formerly the College of Technology). The ceremony will involve administrators, faculty, staff and students from MSU Billings as well as representatives from the Billings Police Department, Billings Fire Department and local Boy Scouts.


Here is a look at the schedule for the event:

  • 7:30 a.m.:  Sirens sound memorial remembrance by City College paramedic program
  • 7:31 a.m.: Flag- raising by the MSU Billings Army ROTC members
  • 7:35 a.m.: Laying of Wreaths by MSU Billings Chancellor Rolf Groseth, City College Dean Marsha Riley, Billings Police Chief Rich St. John, and Billings Fire Chief Paul Dextras, paramedic student Brianna Kaftan, fire science student Michael Kooy, and Ben and Josh Winn, members of Billings Boy Scout Troop 394
  • 8 a.m.: Lessons learned from 9/11. Room 127 Health Sciences Building. Special guest speaker will be George Menig. Menig will discuss medical issues and the physical and mental after-effects that catastrophic events can have on first responders. Menig was a member of the NYPD from 1981 to 2001. He retired as Commanding Officer of the 33rd Precinct Detective Squad and was previously assigned to the NYPD Emergency Service Unit.  Of the 23 NYPD police officers killed on 9/11, 14 were members of the Emergency Service Unit.


Montana’s 9/11 Memorial stands as a steadfast, silent witness to the memory of those who lost their lives at the hands of terrorism on that landmark day 11 years ago. It also provides a place of reflection and honor for those who serve others, whether in the armed services, police, fire or emergency response.


The centerpiece of the memorial is a 600-pound piece of steel I-beam recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Center, which collapsed after the attacks a decade ago.  I was formally dedicated on Sept. 11, 2011.


Volunteers from across the community worked together through the spring and summer of 2011 to make the project a reality. City College faculty members developed the idea for the memorial and secured the piece of iron. Representatives from MSU Billings, Exchange Clubs of Billings, Stockman Bank and the Billings Fire Department broke ground on the site and worked by hand to give the area its shape. Workers from EEC Inc., and CMG Construction followed up with dirt removal and site preparation. Fisher Sand and Gravel poured the slab. 


Set on a 40-foot diameter concrete pad, the 4,150 square-foot memorial features benches for personal reflection as well as informational panels set in sandstone around the edges. At the center is a 12-foot diameter raised platform on which the I-beam rests. Rising above the I-beam are two 16-foot tube steel towers, a scaled-down visual replica of the World Trade Center towers that fell on Sept. 11, 2001.


Faculty and students make use of the memorial ways to enhance the academic experience. Awards will be given to 10 students for outstanding 9/11-related class or personal projects produced during this academic year. These projects could include a research paper, report, speech, lesson plan, literary work, art, computer animation or music. Five $100 awards are open to students from all colleges and departments, and five will be awarded to City College students. The 10 awardees will be selected by a university-wide committee of faculty and staff.


In addition, the memorial led to a community project. The Montana 9/11 Oral History Project was a service learning activity for students and community members. The objective is to collect, record and archive 9/11 memories from the Billings community with the intention of sharing their unique perspectives with future generations.  Ultimately, the project will create a greater understanding of what the 9/11 attacks mean to Montanans and how the events of September 11, 2001, shaped our community over the course of the last decade.


For more information on the memorial ceremony next week, contact Elizabeth Fullon at City College at 247-3085.


PHOTO ABOVE: A wreath is placed at Montana’s 9/11 Memorial during the formal dedication of the memorial on Sept. 11, 2011. The memorial, located at City College at MSU Billings, 3803 Central Ave., will be host to a commemoration ceremony on Tuesday, Sept. 11.