DOBBINS AIR RESERVE BASE, Ga. – Today marks the 19th anniversary of the unforgettable terrorist attacks that took the lives of nearly 3,000 people in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and forever changed the lives of Americans everywhere.
In memory of those lost in the tragedy, Dobbins hosted a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony here at the POW/MIA Park this morning.
“September 11, 2001 changed life in the United States forever, and its impact on our military brothers and sisters will be felt for a long time to come,” said Col. Craig McPike, installation commander, during the ceremony.
The ceremony included a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. Airmen from the 94th Security Forces Squadron lowered the flag to half-mast while taps played. Due to COVID-19 measures, attendance was limited to base leadership and a handful of Airmen and members from the Dobbins Fire Department. Many watched the event live on social media.
In his speech, the base commander discussed the crucial role the Air Force Reserve played in the larger relief efforts.
“Our aeromedical evacuation aircrews were among the first to respond,” said McPike. “We provided the majority of the mortuary affairs support, and our aircrew flew in critical supplies, equipment and personnel, including emergency response teams from FEMA, fire trucks, search dogs, and earth moving equipment. Our F-16 fighters and KC-135 air-refueling tankers immediately began overhead combat air patrol to support our major US cities. We were quickly joined by AWACS and C-130 aircrews under the direction of NORAD in support of Operation Noble Eagle.”
The colonel concluded his speech highlighting ongoing national efforts and showing gratitude for being part of the Air Force Reserve.
“The response of our Reservists in this time of crisis has been overwhelming and since then over 11,000 Air Force Reservists have been mobilized, and thousands more continue to provide daily support as volunteers,” McPike said. “Never have I been so proud to be part of the Air Force Reserve and to be an American.”