PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. - Under a cloudy, morning sky, surrounded by a circle of 50 state flags waving in the wind, military and civilian service members at Picatinny Arsenal took a pause from their busy day to reflect on and remember those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks nine years ago.

"It is difficult to believe that nine years have passed since that horrific morning, when so many Americans watched as Al Queda terrorists struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and caused the crash of United Airlines Flight 93 in western Pennsylvania," said Brig. Gen. Jonathan Maddux, Picatinny commanding general. "This morning, we remember all the victims and their families, and we also salute the many individuals who responded to the attacks. Our nation is grateful to them for what they did then and what they still do now for us every day to protect us from harm."

Representatives from the Picatinny fire and police departments, emergency medical technology unit and the civilian and military workforce lowered the giant American flag from the arsenal's headquarters flagpole and replaced it this morning with a flag given to the arsenal from the Pentagon.

Officials from the Pentagon presented this flag to Picatinny's garrison commander on Sept. 11, 2002, one year after the terrorist attacks. The flag was flown over the Pentagon on Aug. 14, 2002 in honor of the men and women of the armed forces who lost their lives in the tragedy.

Announcer Eric Kowal read the citation from former Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld that accompanied the flag:

"We remember them as heroes. They died because of how they lived - as free men and women, proud of their country's cause - the cause of human freedom. We must remember the fallen as they would have wanted to be remembered - living in freedom as Americans," he read.

Picatinny's flagpole now displays this symbolic flag at half-mast in remembrance of those great Americans.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16