GOODFELLOW AIR FORCE BASE, Texas --
Goodfellow and the San Angelo community observed 9/11 through remembrance ceremonies, which took place throughout the day here, Sept. 11.
In honor of those who lost their lives during that tragic day, several events were held in the community and on base.
The San Angelo community held an event in front of the San Angelo Fine Arts Museum. Small American flags were displayed to honor the almost 3,000 individuals who lost their lives in the collapse of the World Trade Center.
“We must stand tall,” said San Angelo Mayor, Brenda Gunter. “We must protect our nation and keep the nation at the top of our mind.”
Goodfellow held two ceremonies on base to honor and celebrate those who paid the ultimate price on that infamous day.
The 312th Training Squadron hosted a firefighter remembrance ceremony to honor the 343 firefighters who lost their lives carrying out their rescue mission.
“Among those killed were well over 300 firefighters who ran toward a hellish combination of fire, smoke and collapsing buildings,” said Col. Andres Nazario, 17th Training Wing commander. “Other first responders went with them and some of them perished as well.”
The ceremony held at the fire training academy concluded with the traditional sounding of a bell. The bell’s history dates back to when it was sounded as a start of a shift, an alarm to summon the firefighters to the scene of a fire, and when the fire was out, it was the bell signaled that the shift was over. When a firefighter died in the line of duty it was the mournful toll of the bell, which solemnly announces a comrades passing. To convey honor and respect to these brothers and sisters who paid the ultimate price, symbolize the devotion these brave souls displayed through their desire to serve, ability to perform and courage to act the bell was rang five times, three times in a row followed by a moment of silence, representing the end of these firefighter’s duties.
“You are the bedrock of our communities. We are proud to call you our neighbors, friends, examples and protectors. We are also proud to call you our fellow Soldiers, Marines, Shipmates, and Airmen,” said Nazario. “Here at Goodfellow and San Angelo you are not just a firefighter, a police officer or an EMT. You are our police officers, firefighters and EMTs. You are also our physicians, nurses, sheriffs, state troopers, Texas rangers, and all others who protect us from danger and save us from disaster. You are our defenders, you are our first responders, in short you are our heroes.”
Goodfellow and San Angelo members concluded the day with a special retreat ceremony in front of the Norma Brown building.