September 13, 2012

September 11 remembered, service members pay respect 11 years later

Cpl. Timothy Lenzo

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan  — Service members from different branches and different countries gathered together on Camp Leatherneck by the flag pole. The low sun cast long shadows across the somber faces as the attendants came to remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

A bell was rung to signal a moment of silence to remember the men and women who lost their lives that day 11 years ago.

Sgt. Vincent Laughlin, a motor transport operator with I Marine Expeditionary Force Headquarters Group (Forward), remembered hearing about the events while attending Willingboro High School in New Jersey.

“They showed what happened after the first plane hit the tower on the news,” said Laughlin. “They started evacuating the school, and I went back home to my house, where my mom sat me down.”

Laughlin was born in Manhattan and moved with his mother to New Jersey when he was 11. He returned every summer to the Bronx. He still recalls watching the city he was raised for the first half of his childhood burning on television.

“The thoughts running through my mind was about all the people,” said Laughlin. “I was hoping that everyone was OK,”

The ceremony started with the raising of the flag to half-staff. Service members from different branches and countries saluted the Stars and Stripes before the flag detail marched off.

“Watching the flag go up during the national anthem gives me a sense of pride,” said Rivera, from New Britain, Conn. “It makes me realize that I’m willing to put my life on the line for everything that flag stands for. Hearing the national anthem, watching the flag raised is a sense of freedom for me.”

Laughlin, now thousands of miles from New York, proudly participated in the ceremony as part of the flag detail.

When Maj. Gen. Charles Gurganus, commanding general, Regional Command Southwest, took the microphone, his message spoke not only about the tragedy that occurred, but also about hope and a better tomorrow.

“The history of 11 years ago is tragic,” Gurganus said. “The opportunity for a better and safer future is bright.”

“It’s brighter because of you and all who stand beside you and who have gone before you,” Maj. Gen. Gurganus said. “It’s brighter because of the brave men and women of Afghanistan who have answered the call to serve their nation to protect their own people.”

All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.



Where in the World December 20, 2012

Afghanistan – Marines with Golf Company, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment, patrol through the construction site during Operation Golden Gate in Sangin, Afghanistan, Nov. 10, 2012. Golf Co. is tasked with providing security for the entire construction site along the Helmand River for the duration of the construction project. (U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Cpl....

Where in the World December 13, 2012

MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Ca – A CH-53E Super Stallion lands aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., Nov.29. Capt. Charlene “Cindy Lou” Wyman, a pilot with Marine Medium Helicopter Squadron 462, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, and a Denver, Colo., native, instructs other pilots as they practice the exercise. (Official United States Marine Corps...

Where in the World December 7, 2012

Photo by Cpl. Kenneth Jasik Mecca, Saudi Arabia – Lance Cpl. Michael S. Isabelle, a wireman with Communications Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 17, 1st Marine Logistics Group, visits the Kaaba, the most sacred site of Islamic faith. Isabelle was afforded a chance to participate in the Hajj by the King of Saudi Arabia in a...


Where in the World: November 15, 2012

Photo by Nathan L. Hanks Jr. Sgt. Maj. Joseph M. Davenport, sergeant major, Marine Corps Logistics Command, the oldest Marine present at the Kids’ Marine Corps Birthday Ball at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany, passes a slice of cake to the youngest child, Louis Mixa, 2, during a cake-cutting ceremony, Nov. 3. Photo by Nathan...

Where in the World November 8, 2012

Photo by Lance Cpl. Tucker S. Wolf Marines with the 24th Marine Expeditionary take a break from aircraft maintenance aboard USS Iwo Jima to view the sights along the Suez Canal as they transit through the canal, Nov. 5. The 24th MEU is deployed with the Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group and is currently in...
Photo by Sgt. James Mercure

Air superiority: Harriers continue operations over Helmand

CAMP BASTION, Afghanistan – Two AV-8B Harrier II Plus aircraft appear to dot the gray sky, as ground crewmembers prepare for their arrival.


Be the first to comment!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>