BUTTE, Mont. -

Wednesday marked 12 years since the terrorist hijackings that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

First responders and members of the military sent a message to the Butte community as they drove the parade route to Stodden park.

"We're still united," said retired Butte police officer, Jim Lester.

The parade ended at the veterans memorial at Stodden Park. Community members came together to remember the events of 9-11 and how the American people come together.

Korean War Veteran Thomas Reamer explained, "I think it has a tendency to bring the community closer together, it gets people talking and gets people together and united in a common effort and common concern."

We spoke with veterans and current servicemen after the ceremony about the significance of that day 12 years ago.

"It isn't just focusing on 'oh we got attacked,'" said Army Veteran March Creech, "but how people responded, especially emergency services and the passengers on that airplane. They stood forward, they stepped up, and they didn't run."

Butte-Silver Bow Sheriff Ed Lester explained that there is a closeness between all first responders.

"Those officers and firefighters that lost their lives on this day hits home because we really are a big family," Lester explained.

We asked Sheriff Lester about why coming together after twelve years is still so important.

"That's the message we want to send to terrorists: we're stronger today than we were then and we will continue to get stronger because we're the United States of America," Lester said.

The men and women we spoke to all say they'll never forget the heroes that emerged that day.

"Bless those people in those buildings," said Jim Lester. "I saw bravery in people that didn't even know existed."