The ceremony helped pay respect to the victims, their loved ones and the heroes who acted during one of our country’s darkest moments. During the ceremony, Maj. Gen Gregg Potter, commanding general of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, made opening remarks to the crowd.
“Few could have ever imagined the devastating toll the events of September 11th, 2001 would claim or the lives it would impact. Nevertheless we live with the memory of the events that unfolded that day, and from the rubble we find hope … chipped, tattered and blackened from the soot … but not broken … not lost,” Potter said.
“Our mission isn’t over yet … as we continue to battle terror worldwide we have yet another charge … to never forget our fellow Americans and others who fell that fateful day … to never allow our serving patriots to come home to a nation that has forgotten … to honor the memories of the loved ones lost … and to never yield to the tyranny of evil men what we have fought and bled as a nation to establish and preserve … Freedom and the American dream,” he added.
The post chapel was as the audience listened in silence while Potter spoke. The sound of falling rain could be heard outside. “I leave you with the reminder that we are a nation healing from our wounds, but in our recovery we have miraculously proven that what does not kill us only makes us stronger,” Potter said.
“If you should ever doubt our resiliency you need only remember the courageous acts of valor our service men and women have contributed throughout the numerous deployments the last 11 years has demanded of them … or moreover the remarkable and unyielding support of their families,” he added.
Three wreaths were laid in front of the chapel as a symbol of remembrance by Potter, Anthony Marra, Fort Huachuca fire chief and Capt. Daniel Padilla, 18th Military Police Detachment.
After the wreath laying, the Fort Huachuca Select Honor Guard Salute Battery rendered honors and Taps was played. The American flag was flown from the extended ladder of a fire truck in front of the fire station across from the chapel.
The joint color guard, composed of military, law enforcement and fire department personnel, were part of the ceremony. Other participating organizations included the Fort Huachuca Select Honor Guard, 62nd Army Band, Fort Huachuca Directorate of Emergency Services, 18th Military Police Detachment, Fry Fire, Sierra Vista Police, Cochise County Sheriff, Palominas/Sonita Fire, Tucson Police Huachuca City Police, Fire and Pima County Sheriff Departments, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S.D.A. Forest Service.
In his weekly address to the nation, President Obama said this is a time to remember the men, women and children lost in the attacks, the families they left behind, and a chance to honor the courage of the first responders who risked their lives and the American troops who ensure the nation’s security.
Instead of turning inward with grief, Americans honored the memory of those lost by giving back to the nation’s communities by serving those in need, and reaffirming the values at the heart of who they are as a people, he said. “That’s why we mark September 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance — because we are one American family,” Obama said. “And we look out for each other not just on the difficult days, but every day.”