News: Team Shaw holds 9/11 remembrance ceremony
Story by Staff Sgt. Mylinda Durousseau
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. - Ten years ago a silence fell over the nation as Americans sat in shock after the terrorist attacks that hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93.
On Sept. 9 a silent convoy traveled across Shaw Air Force Base as members of Team Shaw lined the street and came together to honor the more than 2,900 people who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on 9/11.
Led by a Third Army/ ARCENT vehicle, the symbolic convoy included Air Force and local community first responder emergency vehicles. The vehicles traveled down Shaw Drive to the Fallen Airmen Memorial site where the 9th Air Force Commander, Maj. Gen. Stephen Hoog, spoke during a remembrance ceremony.
“Today we gather in memory of the lives lost almost 10 years ago,” said Maj. Gen. Hoog. “We also honor you, the men and women of our armed forces who reaffirm that the legacy is a stronger, safer and more resilient America.”
During the ceremony Army Sgt. Sanchez Brown, Third Army/ ARCENT personnel non-commissioned officer and Atlanta native, stood in a formation of soldiers and airmen, signifying the continued military support and involvement in the war on terror since the attacks a decade ago.
“[The attacks] helped us realize that our freedom is something that we have to earn and it can be snatched away. Someone’s always after us,” Brown said.
Brown said knowing there is a constant threat does not scare him but adds to his determination.
“We have to keep our eyes open, be aware of what’s going on,” Brown added.
During the ceremony some of the names of those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks, and throughout Operations Enduring Freedom, Iraqi Freedom and New Dawn, were read to honor their memory.
“It’s extremely important,” Spc. Nikia McClenic, Third Army/ ARCENT information support management specialist and Norfolk, Va. native, said of the ceremony. “It makes you aware of what has happened and the things that can happen again, it puts a lot of things into perspective.”
“The ceremony was amazing,” said Col. Stephanie Stephens, Third Army/ ARCENT staff judge advocate and Jonesboro, Ga., native. “It celebrated the resilience of the American people. Our true strength is that when terrorists tried to bring us to our knees we stood up and responded in the spirit that is America.”
As the nation remembers the events of 9/11 and reflects on the decade that has since passed, Third Army/ ARCENT continues its mission of sustaining the fight.
“ARCENT has been out there doing the things that it needed to do to support operations in two combined joint operations areas,” said Stephens. “It is truly amazing that 10 years later, even though there is still a war going on in Afghanistan, we are in the throes of transitioning out of Iraq and that in and of itself is a victory.”
This ceremony is the first time the airmen and soldiers of Team Shaw combined to hold an event.