A 21-gun salute with three howitzers was part of a wreath ceremony here on Sept. 11 in remembrance of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.
Soldiers fired blank rounds at the Visitor Center parking lot, near the main entrance to Picatinny. The observance marked the 21st anniversary of the attacks.
The wreath was placed on the 9/11 memorial marker by Picatinny Arsenal Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Alexander Burgos, and Picatinny Arsenal Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Terry Anderson.
Several feet away from the memorial marker are three, red-oak memorial trees for New Jersey Sailors--Cmdr. Robert E. Dolan, Cmdr. Patrick Dunn and Aviation Warfare Systems Operator Petty Officer 1st Class Joseph J. Pycior, Jr.--who died in the Pentagon attack during 9/11.
Also close to the memorial marker is a red-oak tree memorial for Sgt. Steven D. Checo, the first New Jersey Soldier to die in Afghanistan. Sgt. Checo died on Dec. 21, 2002, from gunshot wounds received during a firefight near Shkin, Afghanistan.
Those four, red-oak tree memorials are among 174 such memorials throughout Picatinny that have been planted and dedicated for New Jersey service members who have died in overseas operations since Sept. 11, 2001.
“September 11, 2001 is our generation’s day of infamy,” Burgos said to the assembled audience.
“I think everyone here can remember what they were doing at the time of the attacks. It is difficult to fathom how this happened. Our country bonded together that day, and for months after. We stood together for the one idea we grew up knowing, and that is ‘freedom.’”
After the remembrance ceremony, the Picatinny Arsenal Fire Department hosted a moving flag tribute starting in the main fire house parking lot.
In the moving flag tribute, an American Flag is carried continuously for 24 hours over a 1.3-mile course by Picatinny Arsenal employees, service members, and families.
The remembrance ceremony and the moving flag tribute are conducted to honor of all those who lost their lives on 9/11 and those who have died while serving in overseas contingency operations since those tragic events.
Thousands of Americans and people from other nations died as a result of two aircraft attacks that caused the collapse of the World Trade Center's Twin Towers in New York City, the aircraft attack on the Pentagon, and the downing of United Airlines Flight 93 into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on Sept. 11, 2001.