By Staff Sgt. Julius Delos Reyes
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Team Schriever held a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for a 9/11 World Trade Center artifact display Sept. 11 here.
The display serves to honor the nearly 3,000 men, women and children who died during the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, as well as the 6,000 service members who gave their lives defending this nation since.
“As the men and women of Team Schriever drive to work every day to accomplish critical missions, they will no doubt be inspired by the display,” said Col. James Ross, 50th Space Wing commander. “We are honored that the people of New York City and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have shared with us a piece of American history. This artifact from the World Trade Center reminds us that our unique mission sets are in direct support of larger goals: keeping the homeland safe while promoting our interests abroad.”
The steel beam, once supporting a structure more than 13,000 feet tall, represents the reality that people live in an era of persistent conflict and must stand ready to confront aggression from an array of state and non-state actors, said Ross.
The artifact display is designed to be a tribute to all three sites affected by the events of 9/11, as well as provide a somber place for reflection. The plaza is a replica of the East Coast, with the blue pavement representing the ocean and the tan, the land. Each site is identified by a yellow circle, with the outline of the states evident. The path leading up to the site signifies the flight path of the airplanes. The beam is mounted upright as a symbol of the nation’s resolve against the war on terrorism.
“The display behind me today is the culmination of a lot of hard work,” said Ross. “My thanks goes out to the 50th Civil Engineering Squadron, Capt. David Stringer and his team for organizing today’s ceremony, and a special thanks to Don Addy.”
Addy serves the Colorado 30 Group as chairman and as a member of the Board of Trustees. He is also the chairman of the Colorado National Defense Support Council. From January 2007 until September, Addy served as the president of the National Homeland Defense Foundation. It was in this capacity that Addy secured the 9/11 artifact.
“It is a real honor for me to be here,” Addy said. “I wish to thank Colonel Ross for this opportunity. I also want to thank the many people who designed and built this exhibit. What a fitting spot this is. Today is about memory. None of us over 10 years of age will ever forget that day.”
Addy urged the attendees to remember the relationships and friendships formed during that day as well as the American men and women who raised their hands to join the military and defend this nation since.
“Remember especially those brave souls who have died in [the nation’s] defense,” he said. “While we remember this nation was attacked and innocent people died, let us also remember that the greatness of this nation was awakened. Let us remember that the spirit of a united America was as evident that day as was the tragedy and grief. Let us vow to remember both the grief and the greatness.”