HomeNewsArticle Display

AF senior leaders join Mattis, Dunford honoring Pentagon’s fallen, survivors, families 16 years after 9/11

FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (AFNS) -- During a Pentagon remembrance on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Air Force senior leaders joined Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford to honor those who died, the survivors and the families left behind.

Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David L. Goldfein and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright, paid their respects.

On that day, 184 people lost their lives in the halls of the Pentagon and on American Airlines Flight 77, Dunford said in remarks he made before introducing the defense secretary.

“Sixteen years ago, when terrorists attacked the Pentagon, the World Trade Center and as they attempted other attacks in Washington, D.C., they did so with a sense of purpose. They were attacking symbols that reflect our way of life and our values,” the general said.

The terrorists believed the attacks would shake U.S. commitment to those values, he added, and quoted then-President George W. Bush, who hours after the attacks said the terrorists thought they could frighten Americans into chaos and retreat. But they were wrong.

Renewed Commitment

“Instead of retreat, the tragedy of 9/11 produced in us an unyielding resolve,” Dunford said. “Instead of hopelessness, mourning turned into action. And we have strengthened our commitment to the idea that the freedom of many should never be endangered by the hatred of a few.”

Recalling the events of 9/11, the general said it’s appropriate for those who still serve the nation to remember and honor those who died, those who still suffer from injuries sustained that day and those who were left behind.

“If we truly want to honor those remembered today, each of us will walk away from this ceremony with a renewed sense of commitment to our values in the cause of freedom,” he said. “Each of us will walk away from this simple ceremony reminded that the war is not over and that further sacrifice will be required, and each of us will walk away with resolve to strengthen our personal commitment to protect their family, friends and fellow citizens from another 9/11.”

Boundless Compassion

In his remarks, Mattis welcomed the 306 family members gathered at the Pentagon to remember their loved ones lost 16 years ago.

“We are here to honor those 2,977 lives claimed by the brutal attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, -- the men and women who woke that day, never anticipating an attack on their place of work or against this country, innocents who hailed from 90 nations and all walks of life,” the secretary said.

Heroism and compassion were boundless on 9/11, he added. Patriots from all backgrounds and all walks of life responded with speed, courage and compassion.

“In the aftermath of the attack,” Mattis said, “our service members -- our nation -- rallied together as one. For, while we had never asked for this fight, we are steadfastly committed to seeing it through, as President (Donald J.) Trump has made abundantly clear, and with no more temporizing, as our example of leadership galvanized other nations to stand united against this threat to all humankind.”

The secretary said that “maniacs” disguised in false religious garb thought hurting Americans would scare them that day.

“But we Americans are not made of cotton candy, we are not seaweed drifting in the current, we are not intimidated by our enemies,” the secretary added.

“And Mr. President, your military does not scare,” Mattis told Trump, who also spoke at the ceremony.

Protect and Defend

The men and women of America’s armed forces have signed a blank check to protect the American people and to defend the constitution, a check payable with their lives, Mattis said.

“Your military stands ready and confident to defend this country, this experiment in democracy,” the general added. “And we will continue to do so using all means necessary and as long as necessary.”

On this 16th anniversary of 9/11, Mattis said, “We remember the loss of so many in New York City, in a somber field in Pennsylvania, and here in this very building behind me, and in many battles since. And some of those battles are still raging.”

To the families of those who perished, the secretary added, “The loss you have endured drives us in our mission today and every day.”

Engage

Twitter
RT @DefenseOne: JOIN US TODAY @ 2 P.M. ET when our “State of Defense” series continues with a live interview featuring U.S. Air Force Chief…
Twitter
RT @DeptofDefense: Teaching service members how to effectively shoot weapons. That’s the job of Combat Arms Training and Management. Watch…
Twitter
RT @cmsaf_official: Team - 25 years ago today, we lost 24 U.S. & Canadian Airmen in the Yukla 27 crash. It was a surveillance training so…
Twitter
Taking care of Airmen and their families! https://t.co/AVeidzDPcV
Twitter
Wherever Airmen go, the Federal Voting Assistance Program ensures their voice is heard. @FVAP works to ensure servi… https://t.co/tkJts1yo3Z
Twitter
RT @AirNatlGuard: For #HispanicHeritageMonth, we're celebrating the stories of Hispanic & Latino Airmen! @188thWG SSgt. Emmanuel Gutierrez…
Twitter
#TotalForce Airmen participate in night operations during a base-wide, total force exercise @HAFB. Airmen & pilots… https://t.co/kJYNKwHY7n
Twitter
RT @USAFReserve: California fires/smoke no match for UTA Airmen - https://t.co/pJysQ6snRh (Story by the @940Wing) #ReserveReady #ReserveRes
Twitter
Whistleblowers are NOT insider threats. Learn the difference and how you can appropriately report questionable gove… https://t.co/AaTvBfHcTv
Twitter
SrA Denise Arabie, 319th Operations Support Squadron radar approach controller @319thRW, describes the importance o… https://t.co/zkwMx6Qw3i
Twitter
RT @173rdFW: "I may have lost everything, but thanks to the support we’ve found here, I’m going to be back on my feet inside of a few weeks…
Twitter
.@GenCQBrownJr & @cmsaf_official sat down and discussed how the Air Force will continue exempting Airmen from PT t… https://t.co/bWVig9fSOW
Twitter
SrA Mark Gonzalez describes how his job enables the B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber to support the Bomber Task Force depl… https://t.co/sceKCtM3Pz
Twitter
RT @AETCommand: Our Airmen come from all walks of life — and we are stronger for it. Staff Sgt. Kalinin, 56th Force Support Squadron ALS…
Twitter
“It's critical to have that diversity in the Air Force that we have today because it is truly through that diversit… https://t.co/RIDQDjdlCr
Twitter
F-16 Fighting Falcons assigned to the 18th Aggressor Squadron @EielsonAirForce takeoff in support of exercise Valia… https://t.co/cf0raGgEUD
Twitter
RT @USAF_ACC: "This test, and others like it, can shape the future of the MQ-9, as we continue to increase its relevance in great power com…
Twitter
"We cannot rest on our laurels. It is all about the people, folks, and they will guarantee our readiness, and are f… https://t.co/BsNDUSw0wE
Twitter
RT @USAFCENT: USAFCENT Airmen and coalition partners are executing missions of national, regional and global importance and Exercise Desert…
Facebook
The newest Air Force Podcast recently dropped. Listen to a small snippet of CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright talk with Staff Sgt. New about resiliency. Listen to the entire podcast on Youtube: https://go.usa.gov/xpnAD or Subscribe to The Air Force Podcast on iTunes: https://podcasts.apple.com/podcast/the-air-force-podcast/id1264107694?mt=2
Facebook
Our mantra, "Always ready!" It's the spirit we fly by! #B2Tuesday
Facebook
Need some motivation to get your week started off right? Listen as CMSAF Kaleth O. Wright weighs in...
Facebook
The U.S. Air Force Academy gives its cadets some unique opportunities. Ride along one of this opportunities.
Facebook
A United States Air Force KC-135 Stratotanker refuels an F-22 Raptor over northern Iraq, Nov. 6, 2019. U.S. Central Command operations deter adversaries and demonstrate support for allies and partners in the region. (Video by Staff Sgt. Daniel Snider)
Facebook
Although the Silver Star is the third-highest military medal, it's not given often. Today, TSgt Cody Smith was the 49th Special Tactics Airman to receive this medal since Sept. 11th, 2001. Read more of TSgt Smith's amazing story: https://www.airforcespecialtactics.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/2024815/special-tactics-airman-battled-through-injuries-awarded-silver-star/fbclid/IwAR2LZWwx1VHdTnQe39rIEBOuJS_0JvMQBBGt7I-E6zsxxn-Lx9387yu43Bc/ Cannon Air Force Base Air Force Special Operations Command United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)
Facebook
Tune in as our Air Force musicians along with other military musicians are awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Facebook
Like Us
Twitter
1,281,142
Follow Us