15 years later, remembering 9/11
By Airman 1st Class Taylor Shelton, 92nd Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 09, 2016
FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. -- Sun. Sept. 11, 2016, marks the 15th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil. The attack was planned and executed by Islamic extremist organization, Al-Qaeda, and ultimately led to the ongoing “Global War on Terrorism.”
For the Patriot Day retreat ceremony, Fairchild members gathered to remember and honor the 2,977 people who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
“On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, 19 terrorists from Al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial airplanes deliberately crashing two of the planes into the upper floors of the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center and a third plane into the Pentagon,” said Senior Airman Jonathan Jones, 92nd Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, during the ceremony. “The Twin Towers ultimately collapsed because of the damage sustained from the impacts and the resulting fires.”
After learning about the other attacks, passengers on United Flight 93, the fourth hijacked plane, fought back, and the plane crashed into an empty field in western Pennsylvania.
The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people from 93 different nations. 2,753 people were killed in New York, including 343 firefighters, 60 police officers and 8 medics. 184 people were killed at the Pentagon and 40 were killed on United Flight 93.
"The men and women who gave their lives to protect complete strangers deserve our respect this day and every day," said Tech. Sgt. Eric Kunzman, 92nd CES fire department logistics NCO in charge. "When I see the faces of the people in the crowd during a remembrance such as this, I am reminded why we serve to protect those whose names we may never know. I am proud to be an American, an Airman, and a First Responder this day and every day."
In a 2012 proclamation, President Barrack Obama said, “On Sept. 11. 2001, a bright autumn day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. Thousands of innocent men, women and children perished when mighty towers collapsed in the heart of New York City and wreckage burned in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. They were family and friends, service members and first responders – and the tragedy of their loss left pain that will never fade and scars our country will never forget. More than a decade later, the world we live in is forever changed. But as we mark the anniversary of Sept. 11, we remember what remains the same: our character as a nation, our faith in one another and our legacy as a country strengthened by service and selflessness.”