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    20 Years later: NAF Atsugi Holds 9/11 Remembrance

    Naval Air Facility Atsugi 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Rafael Avelar | 210910-N-VI040-1046 NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan (Sept. 10, 2021) Veterans of...... read more read more



    Story by Gregory Mitchell 

    Naval Air Facility Atsugi

    ATSUGI, Japan - Active duty service members, civilians, and family members alike attended a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Naval Air Facility (NAF) Atsugi to memorialize the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

    The observance was held at Cinema 77 aboard the installation, Friday, Sept. 10.

    NAF Atsugi Commanding Officer, Captain Manning Montagnet; acting Executive Officer, Cmdr. Brett Meskimen; and acting Command Master Chief, aviation Boatswains Mate Senior Chief Alan Libungan joined the Atsugi community in attendance.

    "Today marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks on New York City, Washington DC, and Shanksville Pennsylvania," said Master-At-Arms 1st Class Morgan Parlan, who served as the event MC. "As we honor the 9/11 heroes, victims, their families and friends left behind, we would also like to recognize the first responders and brave service men and women stationed around the world who protect our nation each and every day. We will never forget those we lost in these senseless attacks, and may this anniversary serve as a reminder of this great nation's strength, resilience, and commitment to the cause of freedom."

    After the Parading of the Colors and playing of the United States and Japanese National Anthems, the invocation led by Chaplain Lt. Ruth Rivera.
    Those in attendance then paused for a moment of silence.

    9/11 was the worst act of foreign terrorism in American history. There were 2,792 people killed as American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the World Trade Center towers.

    Forty passengers and crew died when United Flight 93 went down in Pennsylvania, and 184 perished as American Flight 77 flew into the Pentagon.
    These numbers do not reflect the first responders and rescue workers who lost their lives that day, or military lives lost in support of the on-going war on terrorism.

    Selected service members then proceeded to perform the readings of the fateful timeline of events, which included the ceremonial passing of the flag. The flag was passed in remembrance of all who perished on Sept. 11, 2001 - and for those in uniform who have lost their lives in the war on terrorism.

    For some in attendance, the events of 9/11 had an everlasting impact on their livelihood.

    "The events of 9/11 altered the course of many lives," said Master-At-Arms 1st Class Mishone Watson, who served as the event coordinator. "The morning the planes hit, I was sitting at my third grade desk, preparing to start my day. We were going over math when another teacher came in and stated we needed to watch the news. I was young but I was also very sensitive to others' feelings. Watching my teacher cry, I realized the pain of what was going on. I was overcome with a sense of shock as I saw the towers fall not really knowing the extent of what was going on."

    Vividly remembering the country grieving over the devastation, Watson said that she did not decide right then and there that she wanted to join the military, but she did decide she wanted to be a doctor to help those in need during times of peril and strife, viewing her decision to join the navy in the same light.

    9/11 forever holds a special place in Watson's heart.

    "As we approached this day of remembrance, I decided to coordinate this event because it brought America together," said Watson. "It showed that all people and everyone's lives have the same value and brought a sense of nationalism that made us grateful for each other, a feeling we all need to know now, that we are all in this never ending fight, together."

    NAF Atsugi has been home to Sailors and their families for nearly 60 years and the only permanently forward deployed, co-located Air Wing, Carrier Air Wing Five for more than 28 years.

    The only Naval installation supporting an entire Air Wing, Atsugi supports more than 40 award- Winning tenant commands, which not only guarantee mission accomplishment, but also ensure the success of the commands' numerous community and youth programs through teamwork and volunteerism.



    Date Taken: 09.10.2021
    Date Posted: 09.10.2021 04:41
    Story ID: 404858
    Location: KANAGAWA, JP

    Web Views: 105
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