GRAFENWÖHR, Germany ― Sept. 11 commemorated 10 years since the 9/11 attacks. For all Americans, the date serves not only as a reminder of their ability to persevere, but also as a reminder of the sacrifices that each American citizen and Soldier has made since.
To mark the occasion, Soldiers from the 16th Sustainment Brigade, 21st Theater Sustainment Command took time to pause from their busy schedule to remember and reflect on that day’s tragic events here at the Camp Aachen Theater.
“Some have difficulty in talking about those friends who were either killed or maimed, but talk we must,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ismael Rodriguez, the command sergeant major of the 16th Sust. Bde., “for our own healing, so that we can honor those not with us, so that we never allow the passage of time to make 9/11, Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation New Dawn and Operation Enduring Freedom an afterthought.”
To remember the events of 9/11, attendees watched different videos consisting of news clips and images from 9/11 and current overseas contingency operations and heard speeches by Col. Keith Sledd, the commander of the 16th Sust. Bde., Rodriguez, and the brigade chaplain, Maj. David Jacob. Lastly, Sledd and Rodriguez laid a wreath in memory of all those who died on 9/11.
“Today, we not only recognize the many individual and collective sacrifices made on that terrible day 10 years ago, but we also recognize the many individual and collective sacrifices made by others, including fellow Soldiers every day since,” Sledd said.
Jacob reminded all those in attendance that not to be forgotten in remembering 9/11 was the significance of the enduring power of hope and faith, and that it is important to take away the positive from tragic events.
“As we gather here to remember the 10th anniversary of 9/11, we also come here today, I believe, looking for some measure of hope for our lives,” Jacob said. “Whether your belief in a higher power takes the name El-Shaddai, Jesus, Allah or some other name, our faith in a greater power can carry us through when no one else or nothing else will.”
Although the focus of the ceremony was to remember 9/11, Sledd also took time to build on Jacob’s message of strength and recognize the inspirational response of the American people to 9/11, especially the response of America’s youngest serving generation.
“The 9/11 generation has risen to the challenges of our time,” Sledd said. “Although, at times, our circumstances may seem dark, these individuals continue to serve knowing that their efforts ensure that America will emerge stronger.”