In the year following Sept. 11, 2001, more than 250,000 Americans enlisted in the ranks of active duty and reserve military service. Many of those service members declared it was the events on 9/11 that inspired their service.
The 162nd Wing’s youngest Airmen had not yet been born to witness the events of that day, but they still recognize and revere the significance. In honor of those who served and paid the ultimate sacrifice before them, 12 of the Wing’s newest Airmen took an Oath of Enlistment before climbing 2,071 steps at the annual 9/11 Tower Challenge in downtown Tucson.
“Knowing about the tragedy and all the brave souls who swore to protect and serve inspired me to do the same here,” said Gabriel Tapia. “And I feel like I can do that I can do that in the Air National Guard.”
“It’s an honor to be participating in such a special event and that all eyes are going to be on us, so we take that responsibility seriously,” said Noe Miranda. “To be in front of all these people and have them uplift us helps us to remember those that died on that day and remember why we are here.”