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Fort Gordon holds tribute to remember 9/11 attacks

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- 9/11 remembrance ceremonies swept across our nation starting at ground zero in lower Manhattan and at the Pentagon outside of Washington. Moments of silence were observed to commemorate when al-Qaeda inflicted a day of terror on America.

The events of September 11th were the precursor of the war that our service men and women still fight so many years later.

On Sunday, Fort Gordon held a tribute to recognize the 10th anniversary.

The only thing you could hear was the rustling of our states' flags. It was an emotional time and for some it's so hard to believe it's been a decade.

A moment of silence took place, some thinking of the very day America was under attack.

At 8:46 a.m., sirens sounded and colors lowered to half staff. That's when American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north tower a decade ago. Sirens blared on Fort Gordon marking when a second airplane hit the south tower 17 minutes later.

"I was actually in the 82nd borne division during the attacks of 9/11 and I had the privilege to deploy with the first of 75th and 3rd of 75th regiments," said Don Townly.

He is a firefighter now but was one of the two million men and women who have deployed since the attacks.

"I was in the armed services at the time and was very proud to represent my country during these times," Townly said.

Many people say the nation was united through the tragic events of 9/11.

"That event brought our nation together in unison to go after those that would attack our country," said Major General Alan Lynn of Fort Gordon, who was in a meeting in the Pentagon on 9/11.

He says a bright day turned into a dark one when a jet crashed into the building.

"We knew it was an attack," Lynn said. "We had no idea it was an aircraft. We actually thought that we couldn't imagine they would get a hold of another aircraft."

Then, a fourth jet crashed at the edge of a strip mining quarry in Shanksville, Pa.

Lynn said the attacks set off a chain reaction that included war planning.

"A lot more people came into the military because of that attack and so they knew what they were getting themselves into and they knew this was going to be a long haul. They committed themselves to fighting for their nation."

A commitment that Townly has made and so have millions of other men and women.

At ground zero, the names of the men, women and children who died in the attacks were read aloud. It could be the last time the victims are honored in such a manner.

This as now a memorial bearing all of their names serves as the footprints of where the twin towers once stood.


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