PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Representatives of the Picatinny community gathered on this anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks for a solemn wreath ceremony near the Visitor Center to commemorate the attacks and the sacrifices made by American service members during the 11 years that followed the attacks.

The wreath was placed by Brig. Gen. Jonathan Maddux, Picatinny Arsenal Commanding General, and Command Sgt. Maj. Rosalba Dumont-Carrion, Picatinny Arsenal Garrison Command Sergeant Major. It was placed at a memorial marker dedicated to service members from New Jersey who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the Global War on Terror.

The wreath was placed at 9:37 a.m., the time when United Airlines Flight 77 struck the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001. 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, are several feet from the GWOT Memorial Marker.

Also several feet away is a red oak tree memorial for Sgt. Steven D. Checo, the first New Jersey Soldier to die in Afghanistan. Checo died on Dec. 21, 2002 from gunshot wounds received during a firefight in Ivo Shkin, Afghanistan.

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, Penn. on Sept. 11, 2001.

Thousands of members of the uniformed services also gave the ultimate sacrifice while defending our nation during military actions around the world in the years after the Sept. 11 attacks.

At various locations throughout Picatinny there are 159 additional red oak tree memorials that have been planted and dedicated for New Jersey service members who have died in overseas operations since Sept. 11, 2001. Attached is a complete listing of the red oak tree memorials dedicated to service members who have died in service to our nations since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

After the wreath was placed, the attendees listened to the playing of "Taps," by Tony Ramirez of American Legion Post 309, Denville, N.J.

"This simple but poignant ceremony shows that we remember the great sacrifices that our service members have made as they have served their nation since 9-11," said Maddux. "It is important that we publicly express our gratitude for all they have done to defend our nation."

In the invocation, Picatinny Arsenal Garrison Chaplain's Assistant, Pfc. Stacey Lewis remarked, "Our hearts and prayers are with the families and friends of the 9-11 victims and the men and women who have died in defense of our freedom."

Also in attendance were Mr. Joseph Gormley, Chief of Staff, Joint Munitions and Lethality Life Cycle Management Command; Lt. Col. Jason Mackay, Garrison Commander; Maj. Charles Benbow, Commanding Officer, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve 2/25 G. Co.; 1st Sgt Gerardo Ybarra, G Company, 2nd Battalion, 25th Marine Corps Regiment, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve; Col. Kevin Stoddard, Commanding Officer, Defense Contract Management Agency; John Hungerford, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division's Systems Integration Department; David Rogers, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head Division's Systems Integration Department; Dominick Carra, Director, Quality Engineering & Systems Assurance; Kevin Hayes, Acting Deputy Director, Enterprise Systems Integration Center; Bob Scott and Lt. Col. John Thane of the U.S. Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center.