Fort Gordon, CSRA hold 9/11 remembrance ceremonies
Fort Gordon held a Sept. 11 remembrance service at the Signal Towers flagpole, as well as the City of Augusta at the downtown Commons, to honor the lives lost 12 years ago.
Each ceremony gives individuals an opportunity to reflect and recall the courage of the people who rushed in to help victims that day and those who lost their lives, the countless numbers of heroes that day and the days which followed during the search for victims and finally, the recovery and clean up.
This nation witnessed numerous acts of personal courage and heroism. Many young people enlisted in the military, knowing they were joining during a time of war, and the need to protect the nation and fight the war on terrorism. One of those individuals stood in the crowd during the installation’s 9-11 ceremony.
“I can’t believe it has been 12 years,” said Sgt. Marcus Levering, assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters, 35th Military Police Detachment. “ I remember being a freshman in high school at Fort Stewart, Ga., when my principal spoke over the public address system and announced the first tower had been hit and that’s when everything started unfolding – the second tower was hit, then the Pentagon. That’s why I wanted to enlist in the military. At the time I just didn’t know when or what branch of service I would join.”
Levering joined others attending the ceremony in a moment of silence at 8:45 a.m., the time of the first strike on the World Trade Center. In coming traffic was momentarily halted at that time as well as traffic at major intersections on post. Fort Gordon first responders blasted their vehicle sirens at 8:48 a.m. during the moment of silence.
A color guard team led by Sgt. 1st Class Dalrymple, and representing all branches of service and emergency responders, raised and lowered to halfstaff the American flag at the installation flag pole at Signal Towers. Joining Dalrymple were Gordon firefighters Anthony Dobbins and James Freece; Spc. Dustin Holland, 35th MP Det.; Detective Harry Hernandez; Pfc. Sharon Perez, 707th Military Intelligence Battalion, 706th MI Group; Marine Sgt. Brad Browning, U.S. Marine Corps Det.; Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class James Bullock, Navy Information Operations Command Georgia; and Senior Airman Matthew Mackamul, 480th Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Group.
Sgt. Jose Machuca of the 434th U.S. Army Signal Corps Band played Taps on his bugle.
At 9: 30, 9: 37 and 10:03 a.m., the Installation Support Detachment cannon honor guard fired single canon shots to signify the crash of United Airlines Flight 175 into Tower 2, American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93 into Shanksville, Pa.
While the Fort Gordon community paused to remember, around the community others did the same.
“We just did our own ceremony before this,” said Navy Cmdr. Todd Gagnon, executive officer at NIOC Georgia. “As we said during our private 9-11 ceremony today is not just a day to remember the significant lose that we suffered as a nation and a military since, but it’s also a day to recognize the commitment and service of all of those who continue to service in the military today and are ready to answer the same call, if necessary. I think a ceremony like today is bringing us together and really highlights that.”
Around the Central Savannah River Area, many churches held a community breakfast and prayer service. Local businesses and Augusta schools held a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. and flags were lowered to half staff.
Augusta’s public safety departments held a remembrance service at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 11 at the Augusta Common where Staff Sgt. Michael Bolton, a member of the Fort Gordon 434th U.S. Army Signal Corps Band, played Taps. They remembered public safety members who died and rang toll bells to symbolize the collapse of both towers in New York City.
The Fort Gordon Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers and the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation jointly hosted the Memorial Blood Drive at Gym 5 on Fort Gordon to collect blood for the Armed Services Blood Program.