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    United 56th: Hurricane task force pays tribute to 9/11

    United 56th: Hurricane task force pays tribute to 9/11

    Photo By Sgt. Scott Wolfe | Soldiers from Task Force 56 and first responders came together for a 9/11 tribute the...... read more read more



    Story by Sgt. Tim Beery 

    128th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment

    BEAUMONT, Texas — Ford Park in Beaumont, Texas, is a veritable hive of activity as Army National Guardsmen and civilian disaster relief professionals work around the clock to restore the livelihood of Texans across the Texas Gulf Coast following the destruction of Hurricane Harvey.
    Since the storm hit, cleanup operations have kept troops working long hours to clean up debris, facilitate distribution points and move supplies to residents in need.
    Through the trials and busy schedule, an element of more than 300 military personnel from Task Force 56 and first responders from various organizations came together Tuesday morning in a tribute, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks on New York City, Washington D.C. and Pennsylvania.
    Highlighting the tribute event was a speech delivered by Thomas Wutz, commander of the New York State Incident Management Team.
    “On three occasions since 2001, we’ve been deployed at incidents on September 11th,” said Wutz. “If we were home, we’d be going to some ceremony, so we decided we needed to put something together here.”
    Wutz was in New York State when the attacks happened and his team was immediately deployed to rescue and cleanup operations in New York City.
    “I worked for the state fire office then, and at that time we lost 25 instructors.” he said. “And I lost a number of friends.”
    Wutz and his team approached citizen-Soldiers deployed to Beaumont and asked for support to plan a tribute, and the entire event came together in a matter of hours, despite unfamiliarity between Guard units from multiple states.
    “At the end of the day, we all wear green,” said 2nd Lt. Joshua Lopez, a logistics officer with E Company, 949th Brigade Support Battalion from Denton, Texas. “We all wear the same [U.S. Army] name tape, so it was easy to bring everyone together.”
    Tributes that recognize sacrifice through selfless service will always have significant meaning to the uniformed services, but it carries extra weight this year in Texas, explained Command Sgt. Maj. Murphy McCardell, the senior ranking noncommissioned officer with the 56th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, based in Fort Worth, Texas.
    “Without hesitation, we jumped into action to make this tribute happen,” McCardell said.
    “9/11 is something that everyone has conversations about and will talk about for a long time. It impacted everybody,” said McCardell. “It’s a good opportunity to be a part of something that brings the country together. 9/11 united us, and what has happened here in Texas united us. So it’s good to have that perspective, to remember our past as we look to the future.”



    Date Taken: 09.11.2017
    Date Posted: 09.11.2017 14:25
    Story ID: 247790
    Location: BEAUMONT, TX, US 

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