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Incirlik Air Base commemorates 20th anniversary of 9/11

People standing in remembrance of 9/11

Members of the Incirlik Air Base community pay respects to the flag during the presentation of the colors at Incirlik AB, Turkey, Sept. 11, 2021, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Col. Jason Gingrich, 39th Air Base Wing commander, and other Airmen across the wing delivered remarks during the event, which also included a commemorative bell ringing to honor fallen firefighters and a remembrance walk/run. The event serves as a tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives lost when terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft, resulting in the deadliest terrorist act in U.S. history. The 39th ABW is committed to remembering and honoring the victims of 9/11, while remaining united and resolved to protect the U.S. and its freedoms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath)

Honor guardsmen presenting flags at ceremony

39th Air Base Wing honor guardsmen post the colors at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Sept. 11, 2021, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Col. Jason Gingrich, 39th ABW commander, and other Airmen across the wing delivered remarks during the event, which also included a commemorative bell ringing to honor fallen firefighters and a remembrance walk/run. The event serves as a tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives lost when terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft, resulting in the deadliest terrorist act in U.S. history. The 39th ABW is committed to remembering and honoring the victims of 9/11, while remaining united and resolved to protect the U.S. and its freedoms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath)

soldier rings bell

I.E. Akdogan (left), 39th Civil Engineer Squadron firefighter, rings a ceremonial bell during a flag folding ceremony at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Sept. 11, 2021, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States.The bell is a symbol for firefighters who have passed away, signaling their final call of duty. The event serves as a tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives lost when terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft, resulting in the deadliest terrorist act in U.S. history. The 39th Air Base Wing is committed to remembering and honoring the victims of 9/11, while remaining united and resolved to protect the U.S. and its freedoms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath)

military commander speaking

Col. Jason Gingrich, 39th Air Base Wing commander, delivers remarks at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Sept. 11, 2021, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Following the ceremony, Incirlik AB personnel participated in a remembrance walk/event at the base track to honor victims of the attack. The event serves as a tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives lost when terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft, resulting in the deadliest terrorist act in U.S. history. The 39th Air Base Wing is committed to remembering and honoring the victims of 9/11, while remaining united and resolved to protect the U.S. and its freedoms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath)

military member praying

Master Sgt. Joseph Blake, 39th Security Forces Squadron acting first sergeant, prays during a moment of silence at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, Sept. 11, 2021, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Col. Jason Gingrich, 39th Air Base Wing commander, and other Airmen across the wing delivered remarks during the event, which also included a commemorative bell ringing to honor fallen firefighters and a remembrance walk/run. The event serves as a tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives lost when terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft, resulting in the deadliest terrorist act in U.S. history. The 39th ABW is committed to remembering and honoring the victims of 9/11, while remaining united and resolved to protect the U.S. and its freedoms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath)

Military members saluting American flag

Members of the Incirlik Air Base community salute the flag during the presentation of the colors at Incirlik AB, Turkey, Sept. 11, 2021, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Col. Jason Gingrich, 39th Air Base Wing commander, and other Airmen across the wing delivered remarks during the event, which also included a commemorative bell ringing to honor fallen firefighters and a remembrance walk/run. The event serves as a tribute to the nearly 3,000 lives lost when terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft, resulting in the deadliest terrorist act in U.S. history. The 39th ABW is committed to remembering and honoring the victims of 9/11, while remaining united and resolved to protect the U.S. and its freedoms. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Dhruv Gopinath)

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey --

Nearly 100 service members assembled at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in northern Virginia.

Among those in attendance was Tech. Sgt. Amanda Brown, 39th Health Care Operations Squadron flight chief of ambulance services, women's health and allergy immunization. She attended the event because as a native New Yorker, she was directly impacted by the day’s events.

“Both my aunt and my uncle worked in the second tower, but luckily they weren’t there that day,” said Brown. “I was in sixth grade, in middle school, and I sat there and watched my friends get pulled out as they got notified their parents had passed. My mother is a nurse and many of my family members are first responders. They all had to go work in the city, and it was a very traumatizing moment.”

Col. Jason Gingrich, 39th Air Base Wing commander, delivered remarks during the ceremony and shared his experiences from that day. He also reminded Airmen that even 20 years later, it is important to look back and remember the heroic efforts that took place in the wake of the attacks.

“We have an obligation to remember the victims of the 9/11 attacks and to recognize the heroes who responded,” Gingrich said. “We must honor the first responders at the Pentagon, in New York City and throughout the country whose bravery and sacrifice saved many lives.”

Gingrich noted the importance of helping those who grew up after 9/11 to understand the service and sacrifice of those within the Department of Defense community as well as the strength of the survivors.

“Many of our younger Airmen were too young to remember or not even born at the time of the 9/11 attacks,” he said. “It is our duty to help those younger generations learn about the attacks, of the people we lost, of the heroes who bravely responded, and to show the resilience of our nation.”

Following the ceremony, attendees made their way to the base track to take part in the 9/11 Memorial Run/Walk to honor those who perished 20 years ago.

“9/11 changed our lives forever,” said Brown. “I believe many of us wouldn’t be standing here today if it didn’t happen. That day molded what our nation has become.”

The Department of Defense is committed to remembering, educating, and honoring the victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks. To commemorate the 20-year anniversary, DoD personnel will participate in events on DoD installations around the world as well as in events in U.S. communities.