POCATELLO — Staff Sgt. Courtney Wells was in second grade, getting ready to go to her Nampa elementary school, on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when the worst terrorist attacks in the nation’s history occurred.

Though she was just a child at the time, the gravity of the attacks shaped her life’s course, motivating Wells to eventually enlist in the military.

On an undisclosed date in October, Wells will be among about 70 soldiers from two platoons with the U.S. Army Reserve’s 660th Ordnance Company, based in Pocatello, who will be deployed to somewhere in the Middle East.

It will be the local company’s third deployment within the span of three years, though it will be Wells’ first deployment. She said soldiers who will be deployed with the company are “prepped and ready to go” and come from Idaho, Montana and as far away as Arizona.

“Growing up, it’s always been something I wanted to do is give back to the country I live in and help protect it so we can hopefully prevent any future events,” Wells said.

Wells couldn’t give specific details of the deployment for security reasons. Three years ago, 10 soldiers with the company were deployed to Afghanistan. Two years ago, 40 of the company’s soldiers were sent to Iraq. The roughly 70 soldiers who will soon be deployed represent about half of the troops in the company.

Wells was recognized Wednesday morning during a ceremony outside of the Bannock County Courthouse commemorating the 18th anniversary of the attacks.

A central theme of the ceremony was the profound sense of unity Americans felt throughout the country following the attacks, as well as the need for the country to come together again at a time when the public is sharply divided by politics.

“It built unity among the country,” Wells said of the Sept. 11 attacks. “There are some times where we should come back to coming together, working as a team and supporting each other.”

Bannock County Commissioner Steve Brown read a proclamation during the ceremony commemorating Sept. 11 to be Patriots Day in the county. His proclamation made mention of how following the attacks, “Americans came together across the country in a remarkable spirit of patriotism and unity.”

“Collectively, as an entire nation, we weren’t Democrats or Republicans, but for a brief moment in time we were all together as Americans,” Brown said. “And in the mess of our politics today, we have that opportunity for just a few moments to do that same thing every year.”

Sixth District Judge Rick Carnaroli read a description of events as they unfolded on Sept. 11. Carnaroli described how terrorists hijacked four commercial flights that morning, routing a pair of planes into both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Both towers collapsed within two hours. A third flight crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the passengers of a fourth flight managed to prevent the hijackers from striking their intended target, which was likely the White House or the Capitol building. That plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

Carnaroli detailed how 3,000 people, including 405 first-responders, lost their lives that morning. Furthermore, he said 6,984 soldiers with the U.S. Armed Forces have died since then while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to fight the global war on terror.

{span id=”docs-internal-guid-28061e9a-7fff-98c2-a4d7-ea086b379791”}{span id=”docs-internal-guid-28061e9a-7fff-98c2-a4d7-ea086b379791”}”May we always remember Sept. 11 but make every day Sept. 12. On Sept. 12, what mattered more was what united us from what divided us,” Carnaroli said. {/span}{/span}

An honor guard raised the flag to half mast during the ceremony. Members of the Highland High School Symphonic Band performed America the Beautiful. Representatives from the Pocatello and Chubbuck police departments, Idaho State Police Department, Bannock County Sheriff’s Office, Idaho Army National Guard, and Pocatello and Chubbuck fire departments also participated in the service.

Idaho Central Credit Union provided refreshments.