By Senior Airman Naomi Griego
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Team Schriever gathered around the 9/11 artifact site here to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the tragedy of the attacks on New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon Sept. 11, at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado.
The artifact at Building 20 serves as a reminder that our unique mission sets are in direct support of larger goals.
Col. Marc Caughey, 50th Space Wing vice commander, served as the guest speaker for the memorial. He paid homage to all who have been affected by the event that forever changed this nation. He also had a firsthand account of the day’s tragic events.
“We are here to honor the 3,000 men, women and children who died that day,” Caughey said. “As well as to honor the more than 6,800 service members who have given their lives defending our nation since and the tens of thousands injured in combat and countless family and friends who have also been affected.”
He recalled where he was exactly 13 years ago to the day.
“I was a captain inside the Pentagon that morning when a plane crashed into the west side of the building,” said Caughey. “That day and thereafter, I have witnessed the courage demonstrated by those responding to the attack.”
Caughey recollected the bravery his fellow brother and sisters-in-arms showed during those critical moments following the attack at the Pentagon.
“A fellow intern, who was an Army captain, was out running during the attacks, and when she returned, she saw the explosion.” he said. “Instinctively, she ran toward the flames and we didn’t see her for eight hours.”
He said he and his office were concerned that she had become one of the causalities. When they found her, she had spent hours sifting through debris while knee-deep in blood, water and jet fuel trying to help anyone she could.
“It is a testament to the courage, bravery and brotherhood that we have in the Department of Defense,” he added.
He said each day, we work hard to honor the lives of great Americans especially those who have given the ultimate sacrifice.
Capt. Charday Caminero, 4th Space Operations Squadron, honored those lives by reciting “For Our World,” a poem written on Sept. 11, 2001, by an 11-year-old boy named Mattie Stepanek.
Stepanek’s words echoed through her voice, “We need to be silent. Just silent. Silent for a moment.”
Caughey charged Team Schriever to continue to move forward to preserve and secure this great nation for generations to come.
“You (Team Schriever) make the world safer because of what you do here,” said Caughey. “It is because we are here doing our job that others may be deterred from committing acts of terrorism against us.”