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News | Sept. 9, 2011

NORAD, USNORTHCOM holds 9/11 remembrance ceremony

By Tech. Sgt. Thomas J. Doscher NORAD and USNORTHCOM Public Affairs

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. - Members of the North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command came out in droves to attend a solemn remembrance ceremony in honor of those who perished in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The ceremony, held at the NORAD and USNORTHCOM 9/11 Memorial, marks the 10th anniversary of the attacks that sparked a decade-long war in Afghanistan and was the catalyst for the creation of USNORTHCOM.

Army Lt. Gen. Frank Grass, USNORTHCOM deputy commander, and Don Addy, National Homeland Defense Foundation president, laid a wreath at the memorial after speaking to the assembled NORAD and USNORTHCOM members.

“It’s been 10 years since the fateful day of 9/11 where nearly 3,000 people from 83 nations died on American soil,” said Grass. “On that tragic day the terrorists said they were attacking the United States and our way of life. Obviously, they did not understand who we are or the values we hold dear. The cowardly actions of AQ and their supporters were meant to break our will. They thought it would cause us to wilt. Instead, it hardened our resolve and renewed our commitment to take the fight to the enemy."

Grass said everyone has their own memories of 9/11, and that it was important to hold onto those memories.

“We can never allow those memories to fade with time,” he said. “Today is a day to reaffirm our commitment and to rededicate ourselves to continue the fight and defend our homeland and our values. Today, we meet to honor the courage and bravery of our citizens who responded on that fateful day. We commemorate the many lives of our service men and women and those of our coalition partners who have been lost over the last ten years fighting extremism.”

The USNORTHCOM deputy commander ended his remarks with a call to the audience to rededicate themselves to working to end violent extremism throughout the world.

“To win this fight, we must remain determined,” he said. “We must remain vigilant. We must be resilient. And most of all, we must work to eliminate the hate around the world that breeds violent extremism.”