21 years later, Ft. Jackson remembers September 11th attacks

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — Fort Jackson held a wreath laying ceremony to honor the lives lost on September 11th, 2001.

This Sunday marks 21 years since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon took the lives of 2,977 people.

Deputy Commander Colonel Mark Huhtanen led today’s ceremony. “To the families who lost their most precious loved ones, forever affected by the events that were out of their control, we honor the heroes who bravely dared to serve others in the decades long conflict born on that day,” says Colonel Huhtanen to the crowd at Fort Jackson.

One by one wreaths were brought to the front, honoring military members, first responders, passengers and crew on board the hijacked flights, victims in the Twin Towers, and all that lost their lives that day.

After the wreaths were presented, a 21-gun salute was given and “Taps” was played.

Those old enough to remember that day can usually recall where they were when the attacks took place.

Deputy Commander Mark Huhtanen believes today’s ceremony is especially important for younger soldiers just getting started. “We’ve got a generation of soldiers here at Fort Jackson that are going through basic combat training that weren’t even born yet when 9/11 happened. And I know when I was coming up as a young officer in the Army, the most important thing was getting with those veterans and understanding what it’s like to deploy and what its like to go into harm’s way. And I think doing these types of ceremonies helps those young soldiers know what they’re doing and what our profession is about.”

Command Sergeant Major Philson Tavernier hopes that soldiers and civilians continue to share their memories of that day, so that we never forget.

“I think it’s our responsibility as people that actually lived throughout that time to talk about it. Talk about where we were, talk about how it affected our families, and how it changed our lives as Americans. Something as simple as going through the airport. Most kids that were born after September 11th, that is normal to them. But for people like myself that’ve been traveling prior to September 11th, that is very painful. And it’s important to talk about simple things like that to understand how these events can change our lives,” says CSM Tavernier.

For many, a moment of silence will be held on Sunday at 8:46 a.m., signifying when the first plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Categories: Local News, Midlands Military Matters, National News