9/11 ceremony honors those who gave all

| September 16, 2010 | 0 Comments

Sgt. 1st Class David Wheeler
8th Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs

FORT SHAFTER — Minutes before the end of the duty day, several hundred people gathered at the Palm Circle parade field, here, as the Hawaiian afternoon sunshine glistened brightly among swaying palm fronds, Sept 10.

Replacing the usual feelings of excited happiness associated with the beginning of the weekend, a somber atmosphere filled Fort Shafter’s community as it joined together to pay tribute and honor those lost Sept. 11, a day forever associated with bravery and the sacrifice of those who died at the hands of an adamant adversary.

“As we gather together this afternoon, we keep that hope and commitment alive as we remember the victims of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and to pay tribute to those who continue the fight,” said Lt. Gen. Benjamin Mixon, commander, U.S. Army-Pacific. “We will never forget those who died on that terrible day. And we will never forget you, the men and women of our Army, who continued to serve.”

The palms for which the historic field is named, swayed gently in the trade winds as the multiple military formations snapped to attention for a moment of silence to honor the fallen.

Then, the air swelled with emotion as onlookers stood tall and notes of Amazing Grace, played by a bagpiper, echoed across the field.

The intensity increased as the troops snapped their salutes with military precision and a lone bugler played taps.

As the arms returned to the sides of the Soldiers standing at attention, Mixon’s words lingered amongst the crowd.

“These warriors and their families have made numerous sacrifices to preserve and defend the freedom and liberty for America and her allies,” Mixon said. “And many of the brave warriors who answered their nation’s call have paid the ultimate sacrifice, while many others bear the psychological and physical scars of war.”

With everyone remembering the tragedy of the past, Mixon took time to remind the crowd of the present and future.

“Here at (USARPAC), our Soldiers continue to move forward with hope, confidence, professionalism and commitment to shape a brighter future both here at home and abroad,” Mixon said. “Like the greatest generation, we have faced fear, adversity and uncertainty as we have waged a war against extremism and all its forms. We must be mindful that we have made considerable progress in the past nine years. We must be courageous and hold fast to our faith that we shall prevail.”

View more coverage of Patriot Day around the Army here. View photos of Fort Shafter’s ceremony at Flickr.

Category: News, Observances

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