By Aleah M. Castrejon | Mountaineer editor
Editor’s note: The following article includes leaders’ quotes from a previous article by Terri Moon Cronk, DOD news, found at https://www.centcom.mil.
FORT CARSON, Colo. — Many service members join the military at the tender age of 18, and with the 20-year anniversary of a terror attack that changed the country forever, many of those young Soldiers will not have the distinct memories of that fateful day.
After the 9/11 events happened, many people made the choice to join the military and prior service members felt called back to re-enlist and serve their country in its time of need. The many stories of lost loved ones tugged at people’s emotions and increased the urge to defend their nation.
Every year, the people of the U.S. remember the lives lost by holding memorials, ceremonies and gatherings; and the leaders of the country express their thoughts.
“We commit ourselves to remembering and honoring the lives that might have been,” said James N. Mattis, former Defense Secretary, in 2018. “We keep faith with the innocent who perished. We take solace their deaths were not in vain, for in their passing they empowered us forever with our enduring sense of purpose. And we remember that hatred disguised in false religious garb to murder innocents will not prevail. We remember the bravery and sacrifice of those who fell here in America, and then on far-flung battlefields. We salute the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Marines who nailed our colors to the mast, giving their last full measure of devotion, declaring proudly that Americans do not scare.”
His message resonates today, as many people continue to join the U.S. armed forces, and current leaders echo the same sentiments.
“The 20th anniversary is a somber moment for me,” said Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Marcus W. Brister II. “Twenty years ago, I was at the Schofield Barracks in Hawaii at 3 a.m., and little did I know that this would kick off two decades of conflict for the nation — for every Soldier, Family member and service member who has served and lived through this. I personally think everyone should be proud of what we have done and accomplished during that time frame. It’s truly about the service members to your left and right.”
The Fort Carson community will continue remembering with events throughout the weekend.
Sept. 10, 2021, Fort Carson will begin with a division run. Then at 7 a.m., there will be a wreath laying at Gate 1 with the post leaders and Don Addy, who was instrumental in obtaining a segment of the remnants of the World Trade Center and transporting it to Fort Carson in 2011.
Volunteers with Fort Carson Directorate of Emergency Services are participating in the Run for the Fallen, where they will run 100 miles. The event begins at Fort Carson and continues to Peterson Space Force Base and ends at the U.S. Air Force Academy. The run will continue through Sunday.
North American Aerospace Defense Command will host the area 9/11 ceremony at 10 a.m. at Peterson Space Force Base in front of building two by the north gate. The event will include two flyovers and is open to people with access to the base.