EL CENTRO — The Naval Air Facility of El Centro (NAFEC) honored those who lost their lives September 11, 2001, with a virtual commemoration via Facebook live September 11.
Viewers watched the raising of the flag before the morning colors — also known as the sound of respect — was played. In front of the flashing lights of emergency response and law enforcement vehicles, speakers thanked the Veterans tuning in to the virtual commemoration for their service.
A moment of silence was observed for the deceased and their families — who are still impacted by the day that change the nation.
NAFEC Commanding Officer Captain William Perkins shared a few words before proceeding with the commemoration.
“We find ourselves assembled on this beautiful morning with the prospect of fall making itself known with the cool weather these past few days. While we’re assembled, you can hear the sounds of the airfield behind me continuing to operate, preparing men and women in the embark Navy and Marine Corps squadrons for potential combat missions as they ready for deployment,” he said.
“We will never forget what happened on this day, 19 years ago, on our soil — an act of terror that shook the world and took the lives of nearly 3,000 people,” said Perkins. “On an early fall morning, such as today, nearly two decades in the past, an attack on our homeland against the heart of our nation — war fighters and noncombatants alike — men, women, and children were taken from their families and loved ones in an act of savagery.”
The timeline of events from that day were read aloud, reminding viewers that the first plane struck the North Tower at 8:46 a.m. and the South Tower was struck by a second plane 17 minutes later at 9:03 a.m. Flight 77 struck the Pentagon at 9:37 a.m. and the South World Trade Center Tower fell at 9:59 a.m. Four minutes later, at 10:03 a.m., Flight 93 crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The North World Trade Center Tower fell at 10:28 a.m.
The names of the Navy personnel killed on 9/11 were also read aloud as a reminder that they have not been forgotten.
“Today, we remember those we lost on that day,” said Perkins. “We celebrate our nation’s strength and resilience surrounded by those who embody it. And we draw inspiration from the ways in which the nation continues to carry their torch.”