9/11 remembered at Coast Guard Island

11th Coast Guard District News

ALAMEDA, Calif. — In a ceremony today marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Coast Guard men and women stationed in the Bay Area honored the sacrifices of those who were lost and paid tribute to those who rose in service in response to the tragedy.

This event is also one of many across the nation to recognize the Sept. 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.

The ceremony started with the raising of the colors before the flag was lowered to half staff to honor of the fallen of Sept. 11. Chief Petty Officer Shannon Reck, a health services technician stationed aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Bertholf, read a timeline of the Sept. 11 events, followed by ringing of a bell and a moment of silence. Each toll of the bell, rung by Chief Petty Officer Thomas F. Jack, a maritime law enforcement specialist stationed at Marine Safety and Security Team 91105, symbolized the times of the attacks.

“Globally, we did learn on September 11th, 2001, how fragile we all are,” said ground zero survivor Master Chief Petty Officer David C. Winsor, an information technician stationed in Coast Guard Island.  “Certain events require the grace of God to invoke the needed changes to protect the indefensible. Nonetheless, the pain never leaves.”

For Winsor, 9/11 was a life-changing experience. For the Coast Guard, it was a defining moment having responded to one of the largest mass evacuations in history. Moments after the attack, the Coast Guard quickly mobilized New York’s maritime community to evacuate close to half a million people from lower Manhattan Island.

The story of the mass evacuation from Manhattan is recounted in the book, All Available Boats and online audio documentary by Connecticut Public Radio at: http://www.prx.org/pieces/2196-all-available-boats-harbor-voices-from-911. To learn more about the Coast Guard role during 9/11, visit the Coast Guard Compass blog.

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