By Spc. Taresha D. Neal/50th PADSeptember 13, 2010
The XVIII Airborne Corps conducted a remembrance ceremony at the Main Post Parade Field with retreat at 4 p.m., Friday to commemorate the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. This year marked the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11, attacks where over 2,900 lost their lives. The leadership of the XVIII Abn. Corps and distinguished guests paid special tribute by placing a wreath at the base of the flagpole to honor those lives - the first responders to the attacks and all who have died since then in support of the Global War on Terrorism. Additionally, the ceremony featured special performances by Daniel Rodriguez; a former New York City police officer during the Sept. 11, terrorist attacks, now a classically trained opera singer who sang, "God Bless America" and the 82nd Airborne Division All American Chorus who sang, "Have you forgotten'" and "Soldier\'s Heart." Lieutenant Gen. Frank G. Helmick, commanding general of the XVIII Abn. Corps and Fort Bragg and Gerald Auch, Fort Bragg Battalion fire chief both spoke about the tragedy of the Sept. 11, attacks. Helmick shared his many thoughts about the day that will be forever remembered by every American. "United as one, we remember the 2,977 innocent people who perished in those surprise attacks by a cowardly enemy, said Helmick. He paid special tribute to those who have lost their lives defending the nation in the aftermath of 9/11. "Terrorism against America will not stand," said Helmick. "America fears no one." Auch also shared his thoughts and recalled what went through his mind as he watched the first tower collapse on TV. "I knew immediately that we were witnessing the instantaneous death of thousands of innocent human beings," said Auch. "We will never forget, we will never give up and we will always, always pay honor to those who died on 9/11," said Auch. Helmick announced that a monument will be dedicated in honor of Sept. 11, victims in December 2010 at the Main Post Parade Field. The monument will be made from salvaged steel from the World Trade Center and will have an eternal flame. "The eternal flame will remain lit until all of our Soldiers are home," said Helmick.