Soldiers, military retirees, first responders, Department of Defense civilians and military family members gathered Wednesday morning at Fort Stewart’s main post chapel to remember the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Special guests for the memorial ceremony included Maj. Gen. Mike Murray, commander of the 3rd Infantry Division and Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield, and his wife, Jane; 3rd ID Command Sgt. Maj. Edd Watson and his wife, Sharon, and Brig. Gen. John Hort, 3rd ID deputy commanding general-maneuver.
A soft prelude provided by the 3rd ID brass quintet was accompanied by images on two large screens of the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon and the aircraft wreckage in a field near Shanksville, Pa.
There also were images of the faces of victims of the attack and those who later gave their lives when the country went after the terrorists responsible.
The memorial service began with a welcome by Lt. Col. Gary Dale, a chaplain, who said the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, were worse than the Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor near Oahu, Hawaii.
Despite the death and destruction caused by the attack, Dale said the attacks of 9/11 brought the country together. He said the sacrifices of the victims and first responders during the attacks and the servicemen and women who’ve since given their all to restore security always should be remembered.
Dale’s comments were followed by a video in which soldiers and military family members talked about what they were doing on the day of the attacks. Again, the images of the attack and the faces of its victims stirred the hearts of those attending the ceremony.
Col. Gary Hensley, the installation’s new senior chaplain, focused his message on the rebuilding that began that day of the attacks and continues even now. He took his message from the Old Testament book of Nehemiah, who led the people of Judah in restoring the walls of Jerusalem in the fifth century B.C.
“The (events) of 9/11 remind us of the hatred that can reside in the hearts of men,” Hensley said. “(These were) attacks on our freedom and our way of life.”
Read more in the Sept. 14 edition of the News.