The Buena Vista Police Department held a hike up Midland Hill from the the BV River Park in honor of the fallen officers and firefighters who gave their lives on 9/11.

The officers met at the river park on the afternoon of Sept. 14, prepping for the hike while wearing full tactical gear. Before leaving, the members of the police force that showed up told brief stories of what they were doing and where they were on 9/11.

“I was deputy in Park County and I worked the night shift, so I was in bed and I remember my mom called and told me that America got attacked. So I turned on the TV and that’s where I spent the rest day, watching the news,” police chief Dean Morgan said.

“I was living in Austin, Texas and I was working nights at the same time. Got a phone call from my roommate asking me if I knew where my father was because he was supposed to be traveling right through there that day. He wouldn’t tell me what was going on, he just told me to turn on the news,” officer Michelle Flores said. “So I turned it on. It took me 2 hours to get up the nerve to call and ask where my father was. He was OK, for some reason they had postponed the trip by a day. So he wasn’t right there cause that’s exactly where he would have been. I spent the rest of the day watching the news.”

“I was 5 and I came down for school that day and my mom was sitting there watching the news and crying. My mom never watched TV in the morning, so I thought it was really weird she was crying and she told me what happened. I was in kindergarten,” officer Megan Mitchel said.

“I was in high school. My buddy came up to me freaking out, telling me we were attacked. He use to smoke a little weed, so I thought he was just high. So sure enough they announced it. We all got to go to the library and see it and after that that was when I signed up to join the military,” said Sgt. Ben Adair, who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

After telling their stories, the officers began their hike in full gear up the Midland Trail and back. The hike in full gear was to represent the trek many officers made as they climbed the Twin Towers in full gear to save people.

“The hike was very beneficial and reflective for us. As we hit inclines and stairs, you could really feel the burn, and this brought to mind the dedication and commitment of the New York Fire Department members on 9/11, and the fortitude, courage and resilience they demonstrated that day,” Morgan said.

Upon reaching the top of Midland Hill, the group paused and took a moment to reflect on the lives lost at the World Trade Center, Flight 93 and the Pentagon.

“Engaging in this challenge acts as a way for us to pursue physical fitness, but also to reflect on the legacy of other first responders who gave all to protect the citizens we serve,” Morgan said. “It is also a way to challenge ourselves and embrace preparedness and a right mindset for how we conduct ourselves as first responders.”

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