It used to be said that everyone knew where they were when President Kennedy was assassinated, or when Neal Armstrong first stepped onto the lunar surface.
Today, most people can tell you where they were on Sept. 11, 2001, when terrorists attacked the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
On Monday, Fort Jackson honored those who lost their lives during those attacks with a wreath laying ceremony at Centennial Park on post.
“We do this in honor of memories of the souls who we lost and pay tribute to the patriots and families who sacrificed so much,” said Brig. Gen. Jason E. Kelly, Fort Jackson commander. “Today we’re honoring the memory of the nearly 3,000 souls lost on Sept. 11, 2001. We’re paying tribute to all patriots and their families who sacrificed their lives for freedom.”
Command teams of the active-duty units and Partners in Excellence laid wreathes at the Centennial Park flagpole.
Kelly and Post Command Sgt. Maj. Erick Ochs laid a wreath to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice on 9-11 and in the subsequent wars that followed.
The shared experience of the terrorist attacks “links all of us together” and binds the American people together, he added. It is important to remember “lest we forget.”
“Most people can think about where they were on that fateful day,” said Kelly, who was a captain serving in Kosovo during the attacks.
The day after the attacks the Army would wake up to a different place. At some installations, such as Fort Liberty (formerly known as Fort Bragg), North Carolina, gates would appear where none were before.
“We went from a peacetime Army to an Army at war virtually overnight,” said Col. Kenneth Dwyer, commander of the Leader Training Brigade. “It certainly changed the course of all our careers and our lives.”
Dwyer had already been serving for a couple years when the attacks happened. He was a lieutenant in the 101st Airborne Division when his radio telephone operator came into his office asking if he had seen a plane crash into the World Trade Center.
“My first instinct was it was just a small little Cessna or something else,” Dwyer said. “And then, you know, you go and watch the TV and, of course, it was so impactful. Then the second plane hit, and the towers came down. It certainly changed all of our lives.”
It began 20 years of warfare against terrorism and changed the Army forever.
On Aug. 19, 2006, Dwyer was hit by an enemy rocket propelled grenade during an engagement in Afghanistan. He would lose an eye and his left hand.
“Because I was abroad, I came back to a very different United States,” Kelly said after the ceremony. “Security at the airport was very different. So, I came back to different society and it was very noticeable.”
|Date Posted:||09.14.2023 13:12|
|Location:||FORT JACKSON, SC, US|