WIESBADEN, Germany - Wiesbaden military community members were joined by their German neighbors while pausing to remember on Sept. 11.

Students from the Theisstalschule in Niedernhausen joined their American counterparts at Wiesbaden Middle School during a special 9/11 event, while members of the Bundeswehr were in the audience at the U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's Sept. 11 commemoration. 

"Today is both a sad day -- a day of memory -- but it's also a day of celebrating patriotism," said Col. David Carstens, U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden commander, at the middle school's observance.

Recognizing the toll 9/11 and its repercussions have taken on the military and veterans, Carstens said military families have borne the brunt of uncertainty through the stresses of separation when service members deploy.

At the same time, the commander asked the students to "be thankful for what we have as a nation."

Dr. Dell McMullen, Department of Defense Dependents Schools Kaiserslautern District superintendent, said she stands in awe of Wies-baden's students who have helped make "Wiesbaden a strong and sharing place." Describing how Americans have stepped forward to serve since 9/11, McMullen praised the many projects students support including the Student-2-Student program, recycling and helping wounded warriors.

"During what has become the longest period of sustained combat in American history, it is time to pause and recognize our sacrifices," said Carstens, during an observance at Veterans Park on Clay Kaserne. "While we are here today to remember the 2,973 souls who lost their lives during this attack, we are also here to honor all of the men and women who serve in the military or have served."

After sharing details of the life of one such patriot and Vietnam War veteran (Cyril Rescoria) who died while saving lives in the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, Carstens said, "I tell you this story because many of you here today no longer wear the uniform of the United States military, yet your service to this great military community remains stronger than ever. Whether you served 20 days or 20 years -- active, reserve or National Guard -- you are a member of the brotherhood and sisterhood in arms -- and we celebrate your patriotism today.

"While today is about remembering the victims of 9/11, it is also about honoring those who have shouldered the incredible burden of war," he said. "These patriots, in uniform and out, are extraordinary -- and for this we owe our extraordinary debt of gratitude.

"Thank you to those who are serving or have served when your nation needed you most," Carstens concluded.