Malmstrom remembers 9/11
By Airman 1st Class Daniel Brosam, 341st Missile Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 12, 2016
MALMSTROM AIR FORCE BASE, Mont. -- On Sept. 9, 15 years after the infamous attack on the United States, Malmstrom Airmen held a remembrance ceremony to honor and recognize those who passed on Sept. 11, 2001.
The ceremony was held at the base chapel where more than 100 guests, including Montana Sen. Steve Daines, listened as speakers gave words of encouragement and shared their stories of where they were on the memorable day.
“In the years since then, we’ve all witnessed the continuing impact of that day,” said Col. Ron Allen, 341st Missile Wing commander. “That day didn’t break us, but only brought us closer together and made us stronger.
“Many of you witnessed the surge of patriotism on that day as many enlisted to serve our country,” Allen continued. “Many more recommitted their enlistment to this country’s defense and the pledge these great Americans continue to uphold is proof that we will always be the home of the brave.”
After Allen made his remarks, Daines followed by sharing his thoughts on Sept. 11 and commended the people involved on that day.
“Today is about remembering the events of 9/11, the innocent lives of 2,977 people killed that day including (more than) 400 first responders,” Daines said. “It is our absolute duty to never forget their sacrifices. We must not forget, we must never forget.”
Together, Allen and Daines laid a wreath to symbolize “beauty and brevity” of life and memories of those who lost their lives 15 years ago and those who fight to keep the country safe and secure.
As the remembrance ceremony came to a close, a bell was rang 18 times followed by a moment of silence.
The last alarm is one of several traditions in the fire service which reflects respect and honor given to those who lost their lives in the line of duty. In the past, as firefighters began their tour of duty, it was the bell that signaled the beginning of that day’s shift.
Throughout the day and night, each alarm was sounded by a bell which summoned them to fight fires and place their lives in jeopardy. When the fire was out and the alarm had come to an end, it was the bell that signaled the completion of the call. The firefighters’ tasks were completed and their duties were done.
Closing out the day of reflection was a ruck march around the base’s perimeter. Airmen and their families were able to carry weights on their back, walk or run around the 9.11 km path.
“Make no mistake, this is the greatest nation on the face of the planet,” Allen said. “I’m proud to wear this nation’s uniform and defend its freedom.”