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17 years later, Schriever remembers 9/11

9/11 50th Space Wing remember never forget sacrifice ceremony

Airmen raise and then lower the U.S. flag to half-staff during the 9/11 reveille ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 11, 2018. The ceremony marked the 17th year since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and also included a striking of the four fives and wreath laying at the base’s 9/11 artifact. (U.S. Air Force Photo by Dennis Rogers)

9/11 50th Space Wing remember never forget sacrifice ceremony

An Airman holds the flag as it is raised then lowered to half-staff during the 9/11 reveille formation at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 11, 2018. More than 50 Airmen stood in formation for reveille during the event. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Rogers)

9/11 50th Space Wing remember never forget sacrifice ceremony

Airmen salute in a reveille formation in recognition of the 17 years since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 11, 2018. The flag was raised then lowered to half-staff in remembrance of the approximately 3,000 victims of the attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

9/11 50th Space Wing remember never forget sacrifice ceremony

Col. Jennifer Grant, commander of the 50th Space Wing, right, and Don Addy, chairman of the Colorado Thirty Group, left, observe the reveille formation at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 11, 2018. After the ceremony, Grant and Addy laid a wreath at Schriever AFB’s 9/11 artifact. (U.S. Air Force photo by Kathryn Calvert)

9/11 50th Space Wing remember never forget sacrifice ceremony

Col. Jennifer Grant, commander of the 50th Space Wing, left, and Don Addy, chairman of the Colorado Thirty Group, right, stand next to the 9/11 artifact and ceremonial wreath at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 11, 2018. Grant and Addy laid the wreath as reminder of the somber memories of that day, never to be forgotten. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Rogers)

9/11 50th Space Wing remember never forget sacrifice ceremony

Brad Truver, assistant chief of fire prevention with the Schriever Fire Department, stands at attention next to the 9/11 artifact and ceremonial wreath at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 11, 2018. SFD members conducted the striking of the four fives, a ceremonial bell ringing in honor of the firefighters, police and emergency medical providers who gave their lives following the attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Rogers)

9/11 50th Space Wing remember never forget sacrifice ceremony

A ceremonial bell rings during the striking of the four fives at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 11, 2018. The striking the four fives pays tribute to the fallen firefighters, police and emergency medical providers who gave their lives during the attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Rogers)

9/11 50th Space Wing remember never forget sacrifice ceremony

Don Addy, chairman of the Colorado Thirty Group, left, and Col. Jennifer Grant, commander of the 50th Space Wing, right, converse in the Building 210 atrium for light refreshments following the reveille ceremony at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Sept. 11, 2018. Addy donated the wreath laid at the artifact. Additionally, Addy secured the 9/11 artifact during his tenure as the National Homeland Defense Foundation president. (U.S. Air Force photo by Dennis Rogers)

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 our resource 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 remains of the World Trade Center.

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 ongoing 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 base 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 both 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.”

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