Eielson Airmen Remember Lives Lost At 9/11 Ceremony

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Eielson Air Force Base and the 354th Fighter Wing held a ceremony on Monday at Heritage Park to remember those service members who were lost during the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001.

"Oh say does that star spangled banner yet wave."

"Though this small ceremony pales in comparison to the 2,996 innocent lives lost on September 11th, memories are not set in stone, they're set in our hearts and in our souls. As we continue to move forward with the pursuit of happiness and defense of liberty for all."

16 years ago, deadly terrorist attacks struck the twin towers in New York City, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field on September 11th, 2001.
Airmen across the installation gathered, including 354th Fighter Wing commander Colonel David Mineau.

He experienced the tragedy first hand, during his time stationed in Florida at Tyndall Air Force Base.

"Captain Davis Benet and myself, squadron commander calls us in and says you guys go home, you're in crew rest. We go home, watch the events unfold on television, 12 hours later we get a call, we come back in. It's 10, 11 o'clock at night, and they just tell us be ready to launch you're on alert. Davis and I sat down there and were like are we ready if we launch and we get asked to escort an airplane full of civilians and get asked to shoot it down are we ready?"

US Air Force Airman 1st Class Justin Coker, a 354th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, rings a bell during the Remembrance Ceremony, as part of fire fighter tradition a bell is rung in four sets of five rings to honor the fallen.

At 8:46 am, the crowd gave a moment of silence to commemorate the exact time the first plane hit the twin towers.

"I thank you everybody for being here. God bless you all. God bless the United States of America."

Eielson has plenty of other events this week if you missed the memorial service on Monday.

On Thursday, September 14th, there will be a 24-hour run/ruck/vigil at the Base track starting at 5:00 pm and will continue until 5 pm the following day.

And on Friday, September 15th, there will be a Prisoner of War, Missing in Action Recognition Day Retreat Ceremony at Heritage Park starting at 4:30 pm.