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CLARKSVILLE, Tennessee, – First responders from Clarksville and Montgomery County stood side-by-side with Fort Campbell after the local impact of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, DC and Pennsylvania. They came together again 20 years later for the annual Clarksville Firefighter Rescue Ceremony on September 11 at Fire Station 1.

CFR deputy chief Michael Rios said the department has organized the memorial every year since 2002 and wanted the 20th anniversary event to highlight the importance of community partnerships during and after 9/11.

“It wasn’t just the fire department that responded that day,” Rios said. “From the military and emergency medical services to the police, all Americans were affected on September 11, and we wanted to honor all those who made the ultimate sacrifice and make sure no one forgets.”

Representatives from each of these organizations formed a joint honor guard to display the colors at the memorial, setting the tone for attendees to reflect on those who lost their lives in the attacks.

The ceremony also featured a tribute to fallen firefighters in Clarksville, an overview of the 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and remarks from community leaders, including guest speaker Col. Andrew Q Jordan, Fort Campbell Garrison Commander.

“Sept. September 11, 2001 was a turning point for all of us,” Jordan said. “From this tragedy was born the American spirit. September 11th stimulated a solidarity and a patriotism unheard of in this country since December 8, 1941. “

“Countless people say they joined the military after 9/11, and many have professed the same motivation their grandfathers and great-grandfathers had in 1941: the honor to serve and the honor. to protect the nation, our freedoms and our way of doing things. of life, ”he said.

Many of these soldiers and their families found the opportunity to serve at Fort Campbell, and Jordan said Clarksville, Hopkinsville and the surrounding communities welcomed them with open arms.

“You can’t walk half a block or half a mile without seeing an American flag – on a shirt, a hat, a car, in a yard, on a business, in a shop window,” he said. he declares. “And every other word in this community has been spoken: ‘God bless our troops’ and’ We support our troops. For our soldiers, they were able to answer the call and focus on their mission in danger because they knew their families would be taken care of at home. They were taken care of by these communities.

This was all the more important given that Fort Campbell played a leading role in the war on terrorism, which the United States launched after the terrorist attacks of September 11.

“The 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne) were the first to deploy just days after the attacks,” Jordan said. “They were closely followed by the 101st Airborne (Air Assault) Division, the 3rd Brigade Rakkasan Task Force, and these soldiers from Fort Campbell were the first Americans to avenge the attacks on their compatriots.

Since then, the 101st Abn. Div. flew more than 40 combat rotations in support of the war effort, and Jordan estimated that the facility’s tenant units were deployed on missions numbering in the hundreds.

“Over 600 of our heroes at Fort Campbell made the ultimate sacrifice,” he said. “More than 3,000 have been injured, and countless more have returned home with the invisible wounds and scars of combat. Some are now veterans sitting among us today who continue to serve as first responders, community leaders, teachers, business owners, your next door neighbors. And they serve in a capacity that affects not only our military community, but our community family in Clarksville and Montgomery County as well. “

Some of these leaders reflected on the community’s response to 9/11 at the memorial, including Clarksville Mayor Joe Pitts and Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett.

“As we count the years since September 11, 2001, our memory of that day may start to fade a bit,” Pitts said. “And as a generation has now passed, our commitment to our first responders in Clarksville-Montgomery County has only grown stronger. In Clarksville, the question should always be, “How much more can we support the women and men who wear the participation equipment or put on the police suit to protect us?” “”

Durrett said it is important to remember both the people who lost their lives on 9/11 and the soldiers who deployed following, noting that their efforts have protected the United States from further attacks since then. .

“There are a lot of people to remember, and one of the things that I think is so important today is [is unity], “he said.” If you look back 20 years ago, what happened to our country? Our country has become one. Now, unfortunately, we are somewhat divided, so j hope that today we will start the process of bringing our country closer and sharing the values ​​that we all love so much.

Jordan said Clarksville-Montgomery County exemplifies these values, noting that soldiers and families often choose to stay in the area after their military service is over.

“Employers, churches, schools, they welcome them into this community and they quickly become part of the Clarksville-Montgomery County family,” he said. “This American spirit runs deep in our culture … we stand side by side to defend this nation with our first responders from Clarksville-Montgomery County, as we did 20 years ago.”

Date taken: 09/17/2021
Date posted: 09/27/2021 2:49 PM
Story ID: 406108
Site: FORT CAMPBEL, Kentucky, United States

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