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Commander, Naval Surface Forces Atlantic

SURFLANT Holds 20th Anniversary 9/11 Commemoration

by Lt. j.g. Teren Donovan, SURFLANT Public Affairs
10 September 2021
NAVAL STATION NORFOLK (Sept. 9, 2021) Personnel assigned to Naval Surface Force Atlantic pray during a 9/11 20th anniversary remembrance ceremony, Sept. 9. The ceremony honored those affected by the deadliest series of terrorist attacks since Pearl Harbor, affirming the United States Navy’s ongoing commitment to deter future terrorist attacks and to never forget our American legacy of tenacity and resiliency.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Milham) (This photo has been altered for security purposes by blurring out identification badges.)
SLIDESHOW | 4 images | SURFLANT Holds 20th Anniversary 9/11 Commemoration NAVAL STATION NORFOLK (Sept. 9, 2021) Personnel assigned to Naval Surface Force Atlantic pray during a 9/11 20th anniversary remembrance ceremony, Sept. 9. The ceremony honored those affected by the deadliest series of terrorist attacks since Pearl Harbor, affirming the United States Navy’s ongoing commitment to deter future terrorist attacks and to never forget our American legacy of tenacity and resiliency. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Jacob Milham) (This photo has been altered for security purposes by blurring out identification badges.)
 Naval Surface Force Atlantic (SURFLANT) held an observance today to honor the victims and service members who sacrificed their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

The ceremony held aboard Naval Station Norfolk honored those who perished and all those impacted by the deadliest series of terrorist attacks since Pearl Harbor, affirming the United States Navy’s ongoing commitment to deter future terrorist attacks and to never forget our American legacy of tenacity and resilience.  The 20th annual commemoration included remarks by deputy SURFLANT commander Rear Adm. Marc Lederer, Force Master Chief Jason Knupp and service members impacted by the tragedy.

Lederer opened the ceremony with a reminder of the heritage of the armed services and promised to always remember the events of 9/11. 

“Our nation’s troops today were successors of our Revolutionary Army at Valley Forge; were the successors of our valiant Sailors at Midway; and our Marines at Iwo Jima,” he said. “We owe it to those folks, those younger than us to pass on that legacy not just of the attack that day but also of the resilience, the tenacity, the courage with which our nation, leaders, service members and families responded, so that they may understand the commitment it takes to ensure an event like 9/11 never happens again.” 

Senior Chief Intelligence Specialist Wesley Dickey, who lost a close friend at the Pentagon that day, recalled the impact 9/11 left on him and his shipmates.

“Everybody has their motivations for coming into the service, but ultimately, we all swear to do our best and put our lives on the line if necessary,” he said. “[Saving] the lives of our country’s men and women, to me, is the legacy of 9/11.”

Amongst a silent room of service members, Knupp took the stage to describe his trip the prior weekend to Somerset, Pennsylvania to see the Flight 93 National Memorial.

“What changed for me [during the trip] was that it’s not about my 9/11 story; it’s about Flight 93 and those 40 individuals who came together as a team to sacrifice their lives and gave people that they had never met a September 12th, September 13th and September 14th,” Knupp said.

On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 souls were lost as a result of terrorist attacks conducted by Al-Qaeda against the United States. Hijackers flew American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City, shortly followed by a crash of American Airlines Flight 175, also hijacked, into the South Tower. A third aircraft, American Airlines Flight 77, crashed into the Pentagon taking the lives of Department of Defense personnel along with over 50 women, men and children aboard the aircraft. The last attack occurred in Shanksville, Pa., as passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93 valiantly attempted to obtain control of the hijacked aircraft from terrorists, tragically losing all 44 souls in their efforts.

SURFLANT mans, trains and equips assigned surface forces and shore activities, ensuring a capable force for conducting prompt and sustained operations in support of United States national interests. The SURFLANT force is composed of nearly 80 ships and more than 30 shore commands.
 
For more SURFLANT news and photos, visit facebook.com/SURFLANT, www.surflant.usff.navy.mil, and Twitter - @surflant.
 
 
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