Goodfellow Remembers 9/11

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Ethan Sherwood
  • 17th Training Wing Public Affairs

The 17th Training Wing hosted and attended several events to pay respect and homage to those who died in the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.

Twenty-one years ago, the United States came under attack when four commercial planes struck several targets, killing 2,996 people. Today, we remind our enemies that we do not forget. We mourn those that we lost and honor those who lost their lives in the service of the nation.

Col. Eugene Moore, 17th Mission Support Group commander, spoke at the 9/11 remembrance ceremony in downtown San Angelo.

“Today’s event commemorates the men and women that paid the ultimate sacrifice on September 11th, 2001,” said Moore. “The days leading up to the attacks were like any other at the turn of the 21st century. Kids went to school, people went to work, and life was rather normal and routine for most of us. Everything changed that fateful day when the nation was thrust into chaos. Our first responders and service members faced tremendous adversity without hesitation.

They rushed into the north and south towers of the World Trade Center; they saved personnel at the Pentagon in Washington D.C. and they recovered the remains of the victims of flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. These heroes met the challenge and placed themselves in harm’s way - safeguarding, recovering, rescuing, and treating fellow citizens. Those American heroes were just like you and I. They were moms, dads, sons, daughters, and people who all had bright futures ahead of them. Light shines brightest in the darkness. These ‘average’ Americans rose to the challenge and embodied the best of us. They proved that the spirit of 1776, Gettysburg, and Pearl Harbor is still alive and well.”

San Angelo’s memorial featured a piece of steel from New York City’s ‘ground zero’ and was accompanied by a modified American flag that hangs at San Angelo’s site, listing all of the victims' names.

At Goodfellow, New York Fire Department Chief (Ret.) Charles Blaich shared his story from his time on scene during the events of 9/11.

He recalled the chaos during 9/11 and how the community came together on that day.

The 312th Training Squadron later held a ceremony in which 56 uniforms and helmets were laid out to represent the 56 Department of Defense firefighters who lost their lives on that tragic day.

Their names were also engraved onto a helmet placed on the memorial.

“Today we stand together to show our appreciation for each other,” said Tech. Sgt. Andrew Fruehan, 312th Training Squadron noncommissioned officer in charge of Fire Officer III course. “For our partnerships across the world, for our way of life, and for the enduring legacy of peace and freedom.”

As a sign of respect for the deceased, the 312th TRS also laid down a wreath. The colors represent the nation, but also the first responders of that day. The blue represents the police department and the steadfastness it took to manage the events of 9/11. The red represents the fire service and the bloodshed in the fight to save our own. The white represents the emergency medical community and all other partners and the purity of all efforts.

They ended the ceremony with the last alarm. The last alarm is a tradition that started in the 1800s when a fire department would ring the bell when a responder fell in the line of duty. Three rings three times each were given to signify the end of their duty. Today it offered a moment of silent reflection.