By Airman 1st Class William Tracy
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Schriever Airmen, their families and members of the local community gathered to remember the attacks of Sept. 11 with a reveille and wreath laying Sept. 11, 2018.
“On this day, our nation remembers the tragic events at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and Somerset Field, Pennsylvania,” said Col. Jennifer Grant, commander of the 50th Space Wing. “At Schriever, we honor the victims, the first responders and the families. We will never forget the lives we lost on this day, but we must also remember the sacrifice and acts of heroism made when our nation needed us most.”
After a formation, consisting of Airmen from the wing’s three groups and Reserve partners, in which the flag was raised and lowered to half-staff in tribute to those who lost their lives, Grant and Don Addy, chairman of the Colorado Thirty Group, laid a ceremonial wreath in front of the Schriever AFB 9/11 artifact, a steel beam salvaged from the World Trade Center remains.
The beam is dedicated to all three sites affected by the attacks of 9/11. It is mounted upright as a symbol of the nation’s resolve in the face of terror.
The wreath laying was followed by a bell ringing ceremony known as striking of the four fives, which paid tribute to fallen firefighters, police and emergency medical providers who died in the attacks.
Nearly 3,000 men, women and children, both military and civilian; fathers, mothers, sons and daughters, gave their lives on 9/11. Thousands of service members have died in the conflict since.
Jim Mesco, 50th SW historian, said the Sept. 11 attacks changed the face of the U.S. and shattered the sense of security and distance many Americans had between their country and the strife living in the rest of the world.
“It showed the United States had vulnerabilities and enemies willing to take any measure to attack all Americans, military or civilian,” Mesco said. “No one was immune.”
Tad Davis, antiterrorism program manager with the 50th Security Forces Squadron, who was an active duty security forces Airman at the time of the attacks, shared the impact he felt on that day.
“The attacks brought terrorism right to our doorstep,” he said. “It gave us a clear vision, we realized we needed to change how we operated.”
This change included stronger security for U.S. military installations, increased analysis of risk factors, anti-terrorism awareness training for all service members and other measures.
As the base antiterrorism program manager, Davis was part of the effort that solidified these changes and made Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, and other military installations, a hard target.
“When terrorists look at Schriever AFB, they see a base not to be reckoned with,” Davis said. “Security is and will always be, a priority.”
When it comes to antiterrorism measures, Mesco said Schriever AFB’s mission of evolving space and cyberspace warfighting superiority through integrated and innovative operations is the biggest one of all.
“The wing’s assets take the war to those who waged war on us,” he said. “The Schriever AFB mission provides the means to deter our enemies.”
As Schriever AFB and the 50th SW continues on its path of dominance in space and cyberspace, Airmen are reminded to keep the sacrifice of those who lost their lives that day forever in their memories, abiding by the words which adorn the ceremonial wreath laid at the Schriever AFB 9/11 artifact — “We will never forget.”