Natick remembers 9/11

By Kelly Field/USARIEM Public AffairsSeptember 12, 2014

Natick remembers 9/11
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Natick remembers 9/11
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NATICK, Mass. (Sept. 11, 2014) -- During a Patriot Day ceremony at Natick Soldier Systems Center, Soldiers, first responders and civilians united to observe and reflect on the unforgettable events of 9/11.

First, Chief James G. Hicks of the Natick Police Department read the Presidential Proclamation to those gathered, reminding them that the sacrifice of so many has forever shaped our nation, and we have emerged a stronger, more resilient America.

Next, Col. Thomas Eccles, commander of the U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, spoke to the crowd and urged them to reflect on the day's tragic events while focusing on America's resolve.

"Thirteen years ago at this hour, on a morning very much like this, terrorists attacked symbols of America's economic and military strength," Eccles said. "They claimed thousands of innocent lives in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil in the history of our nation.

"Although nearly three thousand people died on 9/11, we did not falter. We did what Americans do best. We stood up to serve," Eccles said. "All of you here today stood up to serve, developing and constantly improving technology to protect and sustain our service members, enabling them to win in any environment."

Eccles urged those gathered to remember to take care of one another and focus on the resilience Soldiers and their families possess.

"In September, we call special attention to our ongoing efforts to build individual resiliency during the Army's observance of Suicide Awareness Month," Eccles said. "This year's theme reinforces our pledge to not only build resilience, but to support those in need, all aimed at building a stronger force."

At 8:46 a.m., the precise moment American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, NSSC observed a moment of silence followed by a bell tolling 11 times.

"As we reflect on the present and look at the challenges America faces in the future, it is important for us all to remember that our Army and our Soldiers are strong, and by working together, we can be even stronger," Eccles said. "We will continue to strengthen our profession by empowering those around us to build a culture of resilience.

"Together, we can and will keep fighting for a safer and stronger future," Eccles said. "That pledge, that commitment, makes it clear that no one who died on that terrible day died in vain."