Dover AFB hosts 9/11 memorial event

  • Published
  • By Mauricio Campino

On Sept. 11, 2001, the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, New York, and the Pentagon in Washington changed our country forever. A fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field when the passengers and crew members of United Airlines Flight 93 attempted to take back control of their hijacked aircraft. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives that day. On the 19th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history, Dover AFB paused to remember the men and women who lost their lives by honoring them during a 9/11 memorial event.

Jack Dunn was the guest speaker this year, and he served eight years in the United States Marine Corps, after which he served as a firefighter in Bayonne, New Jersey.

“We will never forget. United we stand. Let’s roll. Does everybody still feel that today?” said Dunn.

Dunn recounted his whereabouts on that fateful day and his participation in the rescue and recovery efforts, which began the following day and lasted for several weeks. The 9/11 attacks caused an immediate spike in military recruitment. Ironically, some of the participants in the ceremony were not yet born when the attacks took place. Soon after the 9/11 attacks, Dunn reentered military service, eventually retiring from the U.S. Air Force Reserve as a master sergeant.

This year’s ceremony had limited attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions but was still attended by several members of the local community, including the Dover Police and Fire Pipes & Drums, who pay their respects by participating every year.

“We’re showing that we’re not going to forget what happened on 9/11, even during a pandemic. We’re here … and we remember,” said Dunn.

During the ceremony, members of Team Dover recited the Security Forces Prayer and the Emergency Medical Services Prayer. The memorial event culminated in a ringing of the bell, a fallen firefighter tradition, a laying of a ceremonial remembrance wreath and the playing of “Amazing Grace” by the Dover Police and Fire Pipes and Drums.

The Air Mobility Command Museum, adjacent to the base, debuted a 9/11 memorial sculpture on Sept. 11, 2013, which includes two pieces of steel from the World Trade Center, a rock from the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site and a block from the damaged portion of the Pentagon. The 9/11 memorial sculpture can be viewed year-round at the AMC Museum and is open and free to the public Tuesday through Sunday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.