RAPID CITY, S.D. — Seven “Ground Zero Heroes” from New York arrived in Rapid City Friday morning.
The group of mostly retired police and firefighters taking part in a golf tournament at Sacred Mountain Retreat in Deadwood Saturday for the 20th anniversary of 9/11.
The heroes met with a crowd of supporters – including those from Sacred Mountain Retreat, South Dakota Highway Patrol, and the Rapid City Police Department – before being escorted by local law enforcement officers through Rapid City, Sturgis, and Deadwood.
Retired NYPD officer Christopher Dukes described that day in 2001 as “unbelievable.”
“Unbelievable – because we never thought those buildings could come down – nobody ever did – and that two planes could take them down like that was just – it was a wakeup call,” Dukes says.
In the immediate aftermath of the attacks, support for police was at a high point – something Dukes says was lovely to see.
“Police aren’t exactly popular at this moment. At the time, it was a beautiful thing to see the outpouring of support – not only for the police but for the fire department and everybody else,” Dukes says.
The seven 9/11 Ground Zero Heroes that arrived in Rapid City are:
- Bruce Fitz, retired FDNY
- Carl Meyer, retired FDNY
- Chuck Todd, retired FDNY
- Chris Dukes, retired NYPD
- John Fitzgibbons, retired NYPD
- Sean O’Neill, NYPD
- Tom Kurtz, retired NYPD
Sacred Mountain says there’s still spots available in Saturday’s golf tournament for anyone looking to join.
Two officers will speak and Sacred Mountain will give two service dogs to deserving veterans after the tournament concludes.