The Vicenza Military Community marked the 12th anniversary of 9/11 with its traditional commemorative ceremony at the Post Chapel Sept. 11.

The guest speaker was Mickie McNamara, USAG Vicenza Health Promotion officer, and a former employee of OppenheimerFunds, located on the 33rd floor of the World Trade Center Tower 2, who asked the question, "Who plans for these events?"

"On the night of Sept. 10, 2001, I went to sleep the way I had on most nights. There was nothing out of the ordinary; however, my alarm did not go off as scheduled," McNamara said.

That fateful morning McNamara raced to work only to stop when she saw United Airlines Flight 175 crash into the building where she worked.

McNamara described the scene of the airplane exploding as "a ball of fire, a gaping mass of black smoke and twisted metal." She turned around and ran to her home in Brooklyn.

OppenheimerFunds relocated to Connecticut and eventually returned to the World Financial Center, within sight of her former workplace.

"The employees had one non-negotiable point: We would not sit in offices above the 10th floor," she said.

When she first arrived in Vicenza, seeing Soldiers in uniform took her back to that day even nine years after the 9-11 attacks, McNamara said.

The ceremony continued with memorial candles lighted in memory of those who died that day in New York, at the Pentagon and near Shanksville, Pa.

Other acts of remembrance on Caserma Ederle included a literally moving tribute organized by Team RWB that consisted of runners and walkers continuously carrying the American flag back and forth on the post's main streets throughout the day One participant, Branden Spencer, carried the flag more than 30 miles from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. More than 500 participants from high school sports teams to youths with the Mako sharks swim team and individuals logged 700 miles.

"I think the moving tribute was a great way to remember the day and pay respect to the heroes from that day," said Maj. Scotty Autin, Italy chapter captain.