Colorado Springs Military Newspaper Group

Peterson Space Observer

Team Pete to honor 9/11

By Philip Carter

21st Space Wing Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.  —  We all remember the loss and sacrifice that happened September 11, 15 years ago.

Communities around the country, including Colorado Springs, will hold ceremonies allowing people to pause and remember where they were that morning. As news reports came in, the realization that this was an attack on the United States became startlingly clear. Two planes were deliberately flown into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Pennsylvania.

When it was all over, the total dead from all the attacks was 2,993 people and more than 6,000 were injured. Because of the magnitude of this day, most people remember exactly where they were, at the time the attacks started.

Guest speaker Gen. C. Robert Kehler, commander of United States Strategic Command and then wing commander of the 21st Space Wing remembers exactly where he was during the attacks.

He was leading the 21st SW through an Operational Readiness Inspection when the second plane hit the World Trade Center. Immediately he knew this was no longer a drill — this event would reshape the installation.

“I watched this wing transition from peacetime to war in an instant,” said Kehler. “We were tasked to do amazing things following 9/11 and you performed exceptionally well. We still face enormous challenges, but 21st Space Wing Airmen continue to bring their best to the fight.”

Team Pete will host the remembrance ceremony for Colorado Springs to honor those who sacrificed their lives that day to rescue the victims, were part of the Air Force team that responded and the joint team that leads the fight against our enemies.

The ceremony will be hosted at 9 a.m. on Sept. 11 at the 9/11 Memorial at Building 2 by Col. Doug Schiess, 21st SW commander. Guest speakers include Kehler, and John Suthers, Colorado Springs mayor.

There will be a wreath laying ceremony at the 9/11 memorial and Fort Carson firefighters will conduct the “striking the four fives” bell ringing in honor of the lives taken.

The solemn event will conclude with playing of Taps by the United States Air Force Academy band and a presentation by the firing party.

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