By Staff Sgt. Patrice Clarke
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Members of Team Schriever and the local community reflected on the lives lost during the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as well as the contributions and sacrifices of military members who have since paid the ultimate price during a ceremony Wednesday at the 50th Space Wing Headquarters building.
Community leaders, including Don Addy, president of the Colorado 30 Group and Air Force Space Command Commanders Group member, and several 50 SW honorary commanders, attended the somber ceremony, which was moved inside due to inclement weather.
The original site of the ceremony was set to be in front of the 9/11 artifact display on base. Airman Ryan Mottley, 50th Space Communications Squadron and master of ceremonies for the event, spoke about the significance of the artifact and the day.
“We are here today on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks,” said Mottley. “The artifact at Building 20 serves as a reminder that our unique mission sets are in direct support of larger goals. It is also a tribute to all three sites affected by the events of 9/11 and a somber place of reflection that conveys the message ‘never forget.’ It is not only a symbol of our nation’s history but a reminder for Schriever members that preparedness is not just a series of training obligations, but a fundamental mindset.”
Col. Bill Liquori, 50 SW commander, spoke of that fundamental mindset and how performing the mission everyday ultimately honors those lost.
“Each day we work hard to honor the lives of great Americans, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Liquori. “We work to honor the more than 2,000 men, women and children who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. We work to honor the more than 6,000 service members who gave their lives defending their nation since the attacks. We work to honor the countless family members and friends who are grieving the loss of a loved one and we will continue to work, to preserve and secure our great nation for generations to come.”
Liquori continued that each person, each mission is important, whether it is sitting on console, providing superb support, maintaining equipment or protecting and defending the installation.
“Everyone on this base recognizes the work you do is important to our mission, to protecting our way of life and the lives of our great Americans,” said Liquori.
Also highlighted were the deployed contributions of the 50 SW to Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom. Since 2001, more than 1,700 individuals have deployed from the wing in support of those two campaigns.
During the ceremony, firefighters were also honored with a traditional bell toll performed by Brad Truver, assistant chief of fire prevention and Derek Ramsey, firefighter both with the Schriever Fire Department.
The fire bell was rung three sets of five chimes, representing the historic tolling of the bell. In the days in which the bell was the primary form of communication, the ringing of the bell communicated to all that a firefighter had died in the line of duty. This time-honored tradition has become a sign of honor and respect for all firefighters who have paid the ultimate price.
To conclude the ceremony, Addy, on behalf of the Colorado 30 Group, presented Liquori with a ceremonial wreath to be placed at the artifact.