A somber day casts a shadow on Americans across the nation as Fort Bragg gathered for a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony on the Main Post Parade Field Sept. 11, 2019.
The ceremony was highlighted by heartfelt speeches from guest speakers Major Gen. Brian J. McKiernan, Deputy Commanding General, XVIII Airborne Corps, and Major Gen. Patrick B. Roberson, Commanding General, United States Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School.
City officials, police officers and veterans from around the area joined together with Soldiers for the day of remembrance.
A wreath laying ceremony was conducted after the guest speakers addressed the audience. Following a moment of silence, the notes of "Taps" played through the speakers and solemn faces could be seen throughout the crowd.
"Thank you to everyone attending today. It's a solemn ceremony, but it's very important we keep this alive in our hearts and minds," said Roberson. "18 years ago today, America changed as a nation and we as an Army changed as well. In a moment, a distant enemy brought war to our soil. The first time since Dec. 7, 1941. The attacks on 9/11 remain arguably the deadliest terrorist attacks in world history and the most devastating to the U.S. since Pearl Harbor."
First Responders with the Fayetteville Fire Department and the Spring Lake Police Department were given the honor of laying one of the wreaths in the ceremony. McKiernan and Roberson were selected to lay the second wreath.
Throughout the ceremony Soldiers with the 82nd Airborne Division Band and Chorus performed a variety of songs. The emotion of the audience carried a weight as the powerful voices of the chorus echoed out to the parade field.
As the event came to an end, Soldiers with the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, executed a 21-gun salute and "To the Colors" brought the ceremony to a close.
"Even as I stand here today, men and women are fighting in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria against Al Qaeda and its affiliates," said Roberson. "We should remember that the fight against the perpetrators of 9/11 still goes on. Our hearts go out to the families of the four Special Forces Soldiers and the 82nd Airborne Division Soldiers that were killed this month. Just as our hearts go out to all those who lost loved ones to the 9/11 attack and the long war since."