KAISERSLAUTERN, Germany -- The Sept. 11, 2001, events that unfolded in New York and Washington, D.C., shocked and saddened the world. Although it's been almost 17 years, people remember and will never forget the lives that were taken and the courage displayed by the men and women that put themselves in harm's way to save the survivors on that fateful day.

The U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz will commemorate 9/11 during a "National Day of Service and Remembrance Prayer Breakfast" from 8 to 9:30 a.m., Sept. 6 at Armstrong's Club on Vogeweh.

USAG RP Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Collin Grossruck clearly remembered the events of Sept. 11 like it was yesterday.

"I was praying for my Special Operators of First Special Forces group, when I received a call to turn-on television news. Needless to say, I saw the images of the World Trade Center attack and realized that everything was about to change."

And change it did.

Three days later, U.S. Congress passed the "Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists," thus beginning the War on Terror that sent thousands of U.S. military members to Afghanistan and Iraq. From 9/11 on, Grossruck and his group would never be the same.

"Our unit was instantly impacted with a former Soldier reported as a Pentagon casualty," the chaplain recalled. "Just a few months later, one of my Soldiers, Nate Chapman, was killed in action."

As an Army Green Beret, Chapman became the first military casualty to die by enemy fire during the war in Afghanistan. He was buried on Jan. 11, 2002, a week after his death, with full military honors in Tahoma National Cemetery, Wash.

"We, as a country, lost a lot during the events of September 11. We lost thousands of innocent victims and courageous first responders who risked everything to save lives -- they are our true patriots. Events like this keep their spirits alive in our hearts and strengthen us as a Rheinland-Pfalz community," said Col. Keith E. Igyarto, USAG RP commander. "Most of all it reminds us that as Americans and military members, we are resolved to protect our country, its people and the freedoms and ideals we believe in."

Chaplain (Col.) Paul Lasley, directorate chaplain for Installation Management Command-Europe, will be the guest speaker during the event. Serving as a Ranger battalion chaplain and head chaplain for Special Operations Command, Lasley will convey his unique perspective of the 9/11 attacks and subsequent terrorism fight military members are still involved in today.

"Chaplain Lasley is a very inspirational speaker and will turn our hearts to the aspect of how we are changed and will continue to change for the better as we remember the events of 9/11 going forward," Grossruck said.

The event is free and open to all, and people can reserve seats at usarmy.rheinland-pfalz.imcom-europe.list-usag-rp-rso@mail.mil or call Chaplain (Maj.) Tim Won at 541-2101.

"You won't regret the hour together as a community, inspired by a great program lined up for us," the chaplain concluded.