9/11 Memorial Ruck March

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Jackson Manske
  • Air University Public Affairs

September 11, 2020, participants gathered around the flag for a memorial ruck march on Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. 

Base personnel, their family members, Maxwell first responders and Montgomery community members paid respect to the victims who lost their lives and honored those who gave their lives to protect and defend others during the terrorist attacks 19 years prior and in the ensuing years.

During the opening ceremony, those in attendance called to mind memories of the day: where they were, what they were doing and the way they felt when they learned of the attack.

“Some of you undoubtedly have a connection to the attacks that occurred that day. For those who watched the events unfold that day, emotions ran deep: fear, anger, sadness. And in the days after: resolve, unity, patriotism,” said Master Sgt. Dennis Scott, assistant chief of the 42nd Air Base Wing fire department.

Scott remarked on the potential of a tragedy like 9/11 to strengthen resolve and dedication to the mission.

“While we reflect on the lives lost, it’s also an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to why we voluntarily choose to serve our country, either as a member of the armed forces or as a civil servant.”

Chief Master Sgt. Michael Morgan, the 42nd ABW command chief, led the first leg of the ruck to the 42nd Medical Group, where he handed the flag off to an Airman with the 42nd MDG. In addition to medical personnel, the flag was also carried by a security forces Airman and a base firefighter. Each flag bearer represented a different emergency service whose members made the ultimate sacrifice on that day. 

In the closing ceremony, Lt. Gen. James Hecker, the commander and president of Air University, commended the bravery of first responders, who continue to put their life on the line in the performance of their duty.

“The true heroes of this day are the firefighters. As mentioned earlier, 343 perished during that time and they were going up toward the conflict, running up the stairs of the world trade center and several police officers did the same thing,” said Hecker. “They should get the same respect that we get in the military.”