By Airman 1st Class Scott Poe
19th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
Little Rock Air Force Base commemorated the tragic events that occurred Sept. 11, 2001, with a remembrance ceremony Wednesday in building 430.
The purpose of the ceremony was to honor those who lost their lives, and the families affected and forever changed by those events. Additionally, the ceremony recognized our nation’s first responders and men and women in the Armed Forces for their resiliency and steadfast commitment to freedom. More than 200 Airmen and family members attended the ceremony.
“It is fitting that we observe a moment of silence as a tribute to those lives cut short, and as a symbol of the empty spaces left behind in the hearts of those still living,” said Staff Sgt. John Day, narrator of the ceremony. “For all Americans, for all time, the phrase ‘9/11’ will evoke a special meaning, a memory of a moment in our history when the world as we knew it changed forever.”
Staff Sgt. Zach Colburn, a 19th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, rang a bell 12 times in remembrance of the emergency responders who gave their lives 12 years ago.
Team Little Rock leadership read the timeline of events that took place that day.
Col. Patrick Rhatigan, 19th Airlift Wing commander, spoke about American Airlines flight 11 crashing into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
Col. Scott Brewer, 314th Airlift Wing commander, spoke about United Airlines flight 175 crashing into the South Tower.
Col. Steve Eggensperger, 189th Airlift Wing commander, spoke about American Airlines flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon.
Col. Archie Frye, 22nd Air Force Detachment 1 commander, spoke about United Airlines flight 93 crashing into a field in Pennsylvania headed for the White House or the Capitol Building.
Stewart Wilcox, a Conway firefighter played “Amazing Grace,” while Chief Master Sgt. Margarita Overton, 19th AW command chief and Chief Master Sgt. Andrea Gates, 314th AW command chief, laid a wreath in remembrance of those who lost their lives.
As the ceremony concluded, Day had a final thought he shared with the audience.
“Today, as we think back on the events of 9/11, our sorrow over the loss of so many good people should be tempered by the example shown by so many who died and so many who lived,” he said. “They taught us through their actions that day what it means to be human. They showed us the immutable value of duty, loyalty, self-sacrifice, love. The only way we will triumph over terrorism, and conquer the senseless tragedy of that horrible day, is by celebrating the kindness of the human spirit. Today, as we remember those lost, I ask you to join me in faith that the good will not only endure, they will prevail.”