As time and distance from Sept. 11, 2001 continue to move forward, the importance of remembering the significance of that tragic day only gains importance.
That was the message shared by Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Tim Reynolds and others who gathered at 11 a.m. for a remembrance ceremony in the Main Post Chapel at White Sands Missile Range.
"Do not let these memories pass from your mind as long as you live," Reynolds said. "The ceremonies or circumstances may change, but we're at war because of what happened on 9/11, and I don't think we should ever forget that, and we need to pass this message along to our children and grandchildren because if we forget, we'll repeat it."
Guest speaker White Sands Missile Range Fire Chief Carlos Soto paid homage to the first responders of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers in New York City that killed 2,606 people. The Fire Chief pointed out that among those who lost their lives were 343 firefighters and 71 policemen, causing the most line-of-duty deaths than any single event in U.S. history.
"And I would be remiss if I did not also pay tribute to the brave men and women of the Armed Forces," Soto said before an audience that included several firemen. "Too many have made the ultimate sacrifice to provide us with the freedom we bear today. We are proud to serve side by side with many veterans in the war on terror."
It was clear that the passage of time would never diminish the significance of 9/11 to Joseph Trammel, a retired security specialist from the Army Research Laboratory at White Sands Missile Range and a volunteer at the chapel.
"I came because I wanted to remember 9/11 and the service and dedication of our wonderful heroes," Trammel said. "I came to remember and never forget that we live in a perilous time. I just thank God for the service and dedication of all the men and women who gave their lives, and continue to give their lives in the service of freedom."