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    Fort McCoy observes Patriot Day, holds special remembrance ceremony

    Fort McCoy observes Patriot Day, holds special remembrance ceremony

    Photo By Scott Sturkol | Fort McCoy leaders hold a Patriot Day Remembrance Ceremony on Sept. 11, 2020, at...... read more read more

    Fort McCoy leaders and a small number of post personnel gathered at Veterans Memorial Plaza in the Commemorative Area on Sept. 11 to hold a special Patriot Day Remembrance Ceremony to honor the victims of the terrorist attacks on America on Sept. 11, 2001.

    About 20 people participated in the socially distanced ceremony recalling the 19th anniversary of the attacks. The leaders participating in the ceremony included Garrison Commander Michael D. Poss; Garrison Deputy Commander Lt. Col. Alexander Carter; Deputy to the Garrison Commander Brad Stewart; Command Sgt. Maj. Paul Mantha, garrison command sergeant major; Maj. Eddie Woody, commander of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, U.S. Army Garrison Fort McCoy; and Garrison Chaplain (Maj.) Robert Rand.

    Poss opened the ceremony right at 9 a.m. “I know we have busy schedules and a lot of things going on; we thought it was important to take a few moments (to remember) here in this special setting,” Poss said.

    The garrison commander recalled where he was 19 years ago and how the event has affected his life since. His remarks were followed by an opening prayer by Rand and each other leader took turns to recall the events that took place.

    Carter recalled how American Airlines Flight 11 was crashed into floors 93-99 of the North Tower of World Trade Center in New York City at 8:46 a.m. — killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.

    Then a moment of silence.

    Stewart then remembered when hijackers crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 75-85 of the World Trade Center South Tower at 9:03 a.m. — also killing everyone on board and hundreds inside the building.

    Another moment of silence was held.

    Mantha then discussed how, at 9:37 a.m., hijackers aboard American Airlines Flight 77 crashed the plane into the western façade of the Pentagon in Washington — killing 59 people aboard the plane and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building.

    A moment of silence was held again.

    Woody then talked about the heroes aboard United Airlines Flight 93. He mentioned how after passengers and crew members aboard the hijacked Flight 93 talked with friends and family over the phone and learned about the attacks in New York and Washington, they mounted an attempt to retake the plane. In response, he said hijackers deliberately crashed the plane into a field in Somerset County, Penn., killing all 40 passengers and crew aboard.

    A last moment of silence was held, and Rand then gave a closing prayer.

    The U.S. flag on the garrison flagpole near building 100 also was flown at half-staff the entire day to honor the victims of that day as well.

    Every Patriot Day, by direction of the president of the United States, the flag of the United States of America is displayed at half-staff at the White House and all U.S. government buildings across the world. Flags are also encouraged to be displayed on individual American homes.

    Patriot Day is not a federal holiday; schools and businesses remain open in observance of the occasion, although memorial ceremonies for the victims are often held.

    At the Pentagon, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper also observed the day in a special ceremony with many others.

    As noted in a story by writer David Vergun for Department of Defense News, Esper said, “Yet, in their attempt to shake the very foundations of our republic, to destroy our way of life, they underestimated our strength, our resolve and our unbreakable spirit.”

    The 2020 presidential proclamation recognizing Patriot Day by President Donald J. Trump also recognized the importance of remembering the day.

    “This Patriot Day, we commemorate the lives of those who perished on Sept. 11, 2001; we pray for the families who carry on their legacies; and we honor the unmatched bravery of our nation’s first responders,” the proclamation states. “We also commend those who, in the days and years following the attack, answered the call to serve our country and continue to risk their lives in defense of the matchless blessings of freedom.”

    Learn more about Fort McCoy online at, on Facebook by searching “ftmccoy,” and on Twitter by searching “usagmccoy.”



    Date Taken: 09.21.2020
    Date Posted: 09.21.2020 14:10
    Story ID: 378284
    Location: FORT MCCOY, WI, US 

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