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    Task Force Liberty commemorates 9/11 during ceremony

    Twenty years after 9/11, pausing for a moment of Remembrance and Reflection

    Photo By John Hughel | U.S. Air Force Reserve Chaplain (Capt.) Conner Simms, assigned to the 934th Airlift...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. John Hughel 

    Operation Allies Welcome - Operation Allies Refuge   

    JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. - As the sun rose on the morning of Sept. 11, 2021, a small gathering of U.S. service members, contractors and volunteers paused here to remember the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania 20 years before.

    It was also the first time in nearly a month that all work was briefly paused at Task Force Liberty Village, to reflect not only on 9/11, but to pay tribute to those who paid the ultimate sacrifice the past 20 years during Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, and other overseas contingency operations.

    Presiding over the service was U.S. Air Force Reserve Chaplain (Capt.) Conner Simms, assigned to the 934th Airlift Wing at Minneapolis-St. Paul Air Reserve Station, Minnesota. Simms gave the following invocation to those attending, and it provided everyone a moment to contemplate the mission of Operation Allies Refuge - Operation Allies Welcome. He also referenced a dynamic expression by U.S. Air Force Colonel Wes Adams, the Joint Base and 87th Air Base Wing Commander in the closing passage, helping frame the essential work by those assigned to the mission.

    Operation Allies Refuge 9/11 Invocation

    Gracious God, as we stand here together in this field, we can draw a thread connecting us back 20 years to the tragic events of September 11th, 2001. Nearly 3,000 people died on that day and countless more have died as a result or have been impacted by those terrible attacks at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.

    This morning we honor them all. We honor the bravery of the men and women who rushed into buildings in New York to save as many as they could. We honor those who went in without a moment’s hesitation and yet never came back out. We honor those brave passengers of Flight 93 who gave their lives so that even greater tragedy would not befall America that day. We honor the men and women of our Defense Department who were killed at the Pentagon that Tuesday morning as they went about our Nation’s business.

    We honor too, our fellow Airmen, Soldiers, Sailors, Marines, Coastguardsmen, and Guardians who have fought bravely for our country in the 20 years since that fateful day. We honor especially those among us who gave their lives protecting us in Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and beyond. We also mourn for them. We shed tears alongside their families, their friends, and their fellow service members. We extend the gratitude of a grateful Nation and we pray for peace.

    And now this morning, the sun rises again over what only two weeks ago was an empty field, and has now, as Col. Adams said, become a city within a city, for a people without a country. We pray for the men, women, and children among us who have escaped the very oppression and evil, which we have sought to eliminate from this world. So that never again will any other or we peoples have to endure a day like September the 11th.

    May we be worthy of that task. May we honor with our lives and with our service, those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This We’ll Defend, Non Sibi Sed Patriae, Semper Fidelis, Semper Supra, Semper Paratus, Fly, Fight, Win.



    Date Taken: 09.26.2021
    Date Posted: 09.26.2021 11:45
    Story ID: 406025

    Web Views: 116
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