An honorary 9/11 ceremony in downtown Rapid City

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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Many gathered in downtown Rapid City to reflect on those who lost their lives in the terror attacks.

The ceremony began with the posting of the colors and the national anthem. Remarks were provided by former City Council President Jason Salamun, and the event closed with a speech by Senator John Thune.

On September 11th, city and state officials reiterated the importance of this event because it creates unity, something they say Americans have moved away from.

"We can argue about politics and everything like that, but when tragedy strikes, the way we became one big community and family, as tragic as it was, there are good things that can come out of that," Thune said.

Thune added, "Western South Dakota has always been a place where we really respect, recognize, and honor the people who serve our country, whether it's our first responders and police sheriff, or it's our men and women in uniform at Ellsworth Air Force Base."

Local first responders also reflected on the gravity of this anniversary.

Rob Seals, Rapid City fire chief, said people should take 9/11 to remember those who lost their lives, and the first responders who keep America safe.

"I think it's a good reminder and if we look at what happened last Friday in Sturgis with the line of duty death, David Fisher, it shows all of my department and the fire service in the nation, that there is a inherent risk of this job, no matter how safe you are," Seals said.

The American Legion Riders also attended, and they agree on the influence events like these can have on a community.

"The attitude towards our country now is not good, people butting heads and fighting instead of trying to work as a common front," rider Mike Ball said.