WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – Some 1,000 military, civilians, contractors, retirees and family members from the Wright-Patterson community came together to honor the lives lost in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 by participating in the fifth Run for the Fallen on Sept. 11.
Sponsored by the Wright-Patterson Company Grade Officer Council, the event began with a reading of each significant event that occurred the morning of Sept. 11 followed by a moment of silent reflection and opening remarks provided by 88th Air Base Wing Commander, Col. Thomas Sherman.
“As we have certain pivotal moments in time in American history, we have to reflect on how those events have changed us as a society and how that impacts us and grows us as a nation,” said Sherman. “When we look back at Sept. 11th, we see how we as a people were incredibly touched and changed and what it proved to us is the power of the American spirit. The Run for the Fallen gives us an opportunity to pay our reverence and respect to not only those who were killed but to also honor those first responders who ran in despite of the dangers they were facing.”
After the posting of colors and invocation, the 5K and 2K walk commenced. All runners and walkers received a commemorative Run for the Fallen dog tag for their participation.
Lt. Odis Tucci, GCOC President and Run for the Fallen coordinator, was very pleased with the turnout for the event and recollects where he was at the time of that tragic day.
“I remember I was in my classroom during my senior year in high school and after the first plane crashed into the tower, we turned on a television to watch,” said Tucci. There was a lot of confusion as we didn’t know at the time if it was an accident or a terrorist attack; until we watched the second plane crash.”
Tucci said that the events of Sept. 11 was the driving factor to his decision to join the Air Force. He said now that there are eighteen-year old men and women entering the service who had not experienced Sept. 11th, it is important to have events like Run for the Fallen so they can continue to carry those stories forward so it is never forgotten.
“It is important that we take opportunities like this for us to celebrate the American spirit and the linking we have as a family, as a military and as a community,” said Sherman. “In some way, shape or form, our lives and our nation changed as a result of Sept 11. When you think about what is great about the United States of America, is at the moment of the greatest of tragedy, we as a country will come together and show the greatness of ourselves.”