MISAWA AIR BASE, Japan --
Members of the 35th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department, 35th Security Forces Squadron, 35th Medical Group and others from the Misawa community came together to pay a special tribute to the victims and the sacrifices of emergency responders involved with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
They held a 9/11 memorial ceremony followed by a climb to commemorate the 110 stories emergency responders climbed in order to rescue the people within the twin towers.
The participants began the climb at 8:46 a.m., which is when the first tower was attacked on 9/11.
“We climb to remember and honor the 343 firefighters who lost their lives that day,” said Tech. Sgt. Ryan Falk, the 35th CES assistant chief of health and safety. “To my fellow firefighters, we pay respects to our family as we are connected by a brotherhood and sisterhood.”
Airmen and families from across the base, including young children, attended the ceremony and memorial climb in efforts to not only educate but also to ensure we never forget the sacrifices made that day.
“For some, today revives memories and feelings that have been forever branded in our minds,” said Gen. Kenneth S. Wilsbach, the Pacific Air Forces commander in a statement to the U.S. Air Force. “The immediate sensation of confusion, fear, anger and grief will never be forgotten. For others, today marks an event that they did not experience first-hand; they learned about the tragic events while studying our history. For all of us, today signals the remembrance of an attack that thrust our nation into our longest continuous war.”
Each participant paid tribute to a New York City Fire Department firefighter by climbing up a hill or walking the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. Each individual tribute not only remembers the sacrifice of an FDNY firefighter but also symbolically represents their heroic journey to save others.
“This event is a way for us to honor those who helped and lost their lives,” said Tech. Sgt. Lewis Squires, a 35th Civil Engineer Squadron compliance and standards NCO in charge. “We do this in remembrance of the 343 FDNY firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11.”
Through participation in these events, attendees ensured each of the firefighters lost during 9/11 were honored and that the world knows that they will never forget the nearly 3,000 men and women who lost their lives 19 years ago.
“We will continue to train with our joint and coalition teammates, bolster our relationships with our allies and partners and hone our skillsets to deter any adversary from contesting the rules based international order,” said Wilsbach. “We are, and will continue to be, ready to provide peerless air, space and cyberspace capabilities to guarantee peace and stability within the Indo-Pacific and around the globe.”