FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Sept. 8, 2022) -- First responders and community members gathered at Fort Drum’s “Lest We Forget” monument outside Clark Hall on Sept. 8 to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a wreath-laying ceremony.
Chaplain (Capt.) Young Kim delivered the invocation, and he spoke about the importance of taking the time to reflect on one of the darkest days in U.S. history.
“Almost 21 years ago, the date Sept. 11 was forever seared into our memories,” he said, “as 13 terrorists attacked our nation with such barbarity and brutality – unequal in our history. We take a pause this morning to remember many innocent lives lost and pay tribute to the many heroes who gave their lives so that many others may live.”
Kim said that it is also a time to remember service members who answered the call to protect and defend the U.S. and the sacrifices they made to ensure such attacks may never be repeated.
Retired Fort Drum Fire Capt. Robert Tennies has narrated the ceremony at Fort Drum roughly a dozen times, and he said that there is no question why these observations occur across the country 21 years later.
“If we don’t, then there’s a chance some day we will forget,” he said. “It’s good that we keep coming together every year to pause and remember what happened. It’s important that we honor those who have fallen, that we don’t forget, and carry the tradition forward.”
Tennies said that, in times of uncertainty and divisiveness, 9/11 also serves as a story of unity, resiliency and compassion.
“On that day, America came together as one,” he said. “Where we seem so divided by things right now, on the anniversary of 9/11 we should remember how strong we are as a country and come together as one. We should do that for the people who died that day – the people on board the planes, the firefighters and first responders. That’s what this should remind us of.”