MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, GA -- A year has already passed since terrorists attacked this country on American soil. When the terrorists crashed planes into the World Trade Center's twin towers, the nation was in a state of shock. The day of Sept. 11, 2001 grew progressively worse as another plane crashed into the Pentagon and another smashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania when passengers foiled the highjacker's original plans.
The day brought numerous accounts of bravery as firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers came together to look for survivors and help the wounded. The events of that day are etched in the minds of Americans and people around the world. Firefighters, policeman and other rescue workers became heroes and remain a source of great pride.
Sept. 11, 2002, was another eerie day. Americans refrained from their daily routines and busy work schedules to remember America's new heroes. But most of all, people across America from all denominations and ethnicities came together to honor the innocent victims who fell prey to the Taliban's horrendous acts.
Shortly after these acts of terror, President George W. Bush took action to bring down the organization that brought suffering to America - the Taliban. Who did he call upon? The Marines. America's 9-1-1 force swung into action with the aid of other U.S. military forces to free Afghanistan from the tyranny of the Taliban.
A year later on the same day, the Marines came to the aid of grieving Americans. Marines from MCLB Albany did not bear arms to protect Georgians from terrorists, but instead to take part in a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony to honor the victims and their families. A rifle detail opened the event with a 21-gun salute while a color guard detail stood in front of 700 people at the Veterans Park in Albany.
As the first gunshot rang out, many members of the audience were startled.
After a few moments the last rounds of gunfire sounded and two Albany Marine Band trumpeters played a rendition of 'Taps' that features an echoing effect.
The trumpet sounds cut through the air like a knife leaving people very still and quiet, while some wiped tears and others sniffed trying to prevent tears. When the last trumpet note resonated the ceremony began.
A Christian chaplain, a Muslim imam and a Jewish rabbi gave their own special prayers for the victims and for mankind. After the prayers, city officials, such as the mayor, police chief and fire chief, spoke briefly about the importance of remembering those who died.
Among the officials who spoke was Brig. Gen. Richard S. Kramlich, commander, Marine Corps Logistics Bases, who spoke of the great military power that is ready to seek revenge when given the word from the president.
The ceremony concluded with a brief concert from the Albany Marine Band playing patriotic music. The audience waved American flags during the band's performance and whistled and cheered for more.
As the ceremony neared the end, the band finished playing while more than 20 doves were released into the air, representing peace and freedom for the American people.