CLOVIS, N.M. - In remembrance of the heroes and lives lost during 9/11, a ceremony was held at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M, Sept. 11, on the tenth anniversary of the infamous terrorist attacks that changed the world forever.
During this event a portion of the steel structure from the World Trade Center was unveiled and placed on permanent display at the Cannon Air Force Base Fire Station. An American flag, recently flown over the base, was retired at the foot of the steel memorial.
"It's an honor to have such a memorable symbol of the World Trade Center and the attacks of 9/11 here at Cannon," said Col. Buck Elton, commander, 27th Special Operations Wing.
"The steel symbolized our strength and resolve and will serve as a reminder of the innocent victims as well as the first responders and those in the service who stepped up to the challenge created by this," he said.
Master Sgt. Dominique Derr, 1st Sergeant, 27th Special Operations Maintenance Squadron, attended this ceremony because of the deep impact it has made on her life, she said.
Derr was an Airman 1st Class stationed at Hurlburt Field, Fla., when she watched two planes fly into the World Trade Center on the morning news, on 9/11. After seeing this, she knew she was soon going to be deployed overseas in support of her aircraft. Since that day, she's deployed seven times doing fire support, hospital support, and global triage.
"Finding out that we were doing a dedication, with a piece of the history as a memorial, it was important to me to be here," she said.
She believes the memorial will give younger airmen, some of which were in Elementary School during 9/11, a chance to connect with this event, and better understand why the military is currently engaged in a war against terror.
Over 3,000 people died that day on 9/11 and roughly 6,000 military members have been killed since in an effort to stop global terrorism, 39 of which were Air Commandos.
To close the ceremony, Bruce Ford, assistant chief of fire prevention at Cannon, sounded the fire station's bell - a traditional show of respect for fallen firefighters. This bell was sounded in honor of the fallen emergency workers in New York City who made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their communities on 9/11.
"The only way we will triumph over terrorism and conquer the senseless tragedy of these horrible events is by celebrating the kindness of the human spirit," said Master Sgt. John Hearn, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineer Squadron, during the ceremony. "Today, as we remember those lost, I ask you to join me in faith that the good will not only endure, they will prevail."