Oaths affirmed before national 9/11 flag

| December 16, 2010 | 0 Comments
Sgt. Joshua Hicks (right), 3rd Bn., 7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, re-enlists with his platoon leader, 1st Lt. Steven Jewell, 3rd Bn., 7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT, Dec. 7, in front of the national 9/11 flag on board the USS Missouri.

Sgt. Joshua Hicks (right), 3rd Bn., 7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT, 25th ID, re-enlists with his platoon leader, 1st Lt. Steven Jewell, 3rd Bn., 7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT, Dec. 7, in front of the national 9/11 flag on board the USS Missouri.

Story and Photo by
Staff Sgt. Amber Robinson
3rd Brigade Combat Team Public Affairs, 25th Infantry Division

 

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Soldiers from across Oahu gathered on board the USS Missouri, anchored in Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, for a special re-enlistment opportunity in front of the very flag that flew at ground zero, Sept. 11, 2001.

The 9/11 flag was restored seven years after the tragedy in New York. It has toured the U.S. as part of the “50-State National 9/11 Flag Tour,” where it continues to be restored at each major military base it passes through, with flags or bits of flags destined for retirement. These bits of flags are sewn on by special delegates at each stop, such as wounded warriors, military veterans, first responders and 9/11 family members.

“The opportunity and significance presented on this particular anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor … on the very ship that hosted the surrender, ending the war in the Pacific … and in the presence of the national colors that flew at ground zero, Sept. 11, 2001, contributes to the solemn history of the defense of our ideals of freedom and liberty, and the enduring resilience of our country’s spirit,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Dale Perez, command sergeant major, 3rd Battalion, 7th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division.

The fact that Pearl Harbor exists and thrives today, along with the pristine condition of the USS Missouri and the survival of the 9/11 flag, represents the resilience of America, its citizens and their aspirations to restore, empower and inspire, he added.

Soldiers from many units gathered for the opportunity to re-enlist in front of the 9/11 flag. One such Soldier was Sgt. Joshua Hicks, 3rd Bn., 7th FA Regt., 3rd BCT. Hicks, who has served in combat overseas, a number of times, is a testament to the resiliency, dedication and honor of the American Soldier.

“To me, there is no greater feeling in the world than lacing up my boots in the morning,” Hicks said. “I love my job. It was an honor to be able to renew (my) commitment to our country and my Soldiers in front of the (9/11) flag, on the deck of such a symbol of triumph.”

“The opportunity for any Soldier to re-enlist is such an honor to witness,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Spano, command sergeant major, 3rd BCT. “The fact that the flag was the backdrop of the re-enlistment – the flag of our nation that flew over ground zero for so long – that is something so special.

“There are only a few moments in our lives that we can say that we will never forget, and I know that this will be one of mine,” he said.

The Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts of America dedicated the portion of the flag that was stitched into the lower-right-hand side, during the official stitching ceremony for Hawaii.

“The American flag, and all that it symbolizes, should always been important to Americans, more so, to those who have sworn to defend it,” Perez said. “The national flag is the symbol of America and its ideals. Soldiers proudly wear it on their uniform, they pledge their allegiance to it and the fallen are gracefully covered by it.”

Soldiers who have served and fought under the flag of freedom are a part of its continuing legacy, built from the nation’s conflicts, victories and sacrifices.

“Military history, Soldiers and our symbols of freedom are part of an unbroken legacy that began with America’s Revolutionary War and continues with today’s conflicts,” concluded Perez. “Every Soldier is, and always will be, a stitch in the fabric of the military history of our great nation.”

 

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