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9/11: A day of remembrance

Members of the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department stand for a moment of silence outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. The flag is flown at half-staff in honor of the people that lost their lives as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Members of the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department stand for a moment of silence outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. The flag is flown at half-staff in honor of the people that lost their lives as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

A portion of a steel beam collected from the wreckage of ground zero is displayed at the 9/11 memorial ceremony outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. The memorial ceremony was organized by the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department in honor of the nearly 3,000 people that died on Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

A portion of a steel beam collected from the wreckage of ground zero is displayed at the 9/11 memorial ceremony outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. The memorial ceremony was organized by the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department in honor of the nearly 3,000 people that died on Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Members of the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department rang the fire department bell at the 9/11 memorial ceremony outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. The bell was struck in three intervals of five rings, as firefighter tradition, in honor of the 343 firefighters that died on Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Members of the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department rang the fire department bell at the 9/11 memorial ceremony outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. The bell was struck in three intervals of five rings, as firefighter tradition, in honor of the 343 firefighters that died on Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Senior Master Sgt. Zachary Townsend, the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy fire chief, addresses the audience during a 9/11 memorial ceremony outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. The memorial ceremony was organized by the 28th CES Fire Department in honor of the nearly 3,000 people that died on Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Senior Master Sgt. Zachary Townsend, the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy fire chief, addresses the audience during a 9/11 memorial ceremony outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. The memorial ceremony was organized by the 28th CES Fire Department in honor of the nearly 3,000 people that died on Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Members of the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department, emergency medical services and the 28th Security Forces Squadron form up at the 9/11 memorial ceremony outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. As a result of the 9/11 terrorist attack, 412 first responders died and countless others were injured while trying to save the lives of others. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett

Members of the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department, emergency medical services and the 28th Security Forces Squadron form up at the 9/11 memorial ceremony outside of the 28th Bomb Wing headquarters at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. As a result of the 9/11 terrorist attack, 412 first responders died and countless others were injured while trying to save the lives of others. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Service members participate in a 5K ruck march held in honor of Patriot Day at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. Approximately 35 men and women came together to ruck march on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Service members participate in a 5K ruck march held in honor of Patriot Day at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. Approximately 35 men and women came together to ruck march on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

A service member participates in a Patriot Day 5K ruck march at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. Members of the 28th Force Support Squadron organized the event in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people that died as result of the 9/11 terrorist attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

A service member participates in a Patriot Day 5K ruck march at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. Members of the 28th Force Support Squadron organized the event in remembrance of the nearly 3,000 people that died as result of the 9/11 terrorist attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Service members participate in a 5K ruck march held in honor of Patriot Day at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. Participants gathered at the Heritage Lake pavilion on base prior to the ruck march to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of those who died as result of the 9/11 terrorist attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

Service members participate in a 5K ruck march held in honor of Patriot Day at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. Participants gathered at the Heritage Lake pavilion on base prior to the ruck march to observe a moment of silence in remembrance of those who died as result of the 9/11 terrorist attack. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

A 5K participant runs with a weighted rucksack in honor of Patriot Day at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018.  The day marked the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack that claimed the lives of approximately 3,000 people and injured thousands of others. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

A 5K participant runs with a weighted rucksack in honor of Patriot Day at Ellsworth Air Force Base, S.D., Sept. 11, 2018. The day marked the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack that claimed the lives of approximately 3,000 people and injured thousands of others. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Christina Bennett)

ELLSWORTH AIR FORCE BASE, S.D. -- Ellsworth Air Force Base hosted several events in dedication of Patriot Day and the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Members of the 28th Force Support Squadron organized an early morning 5K ruck march at the Heritage Lake pavilion. It was dedicated to the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives that day in 2001. The event also paid tribute to first responders and those currently serving in the military.

The ruck march began with an invocation carried out by Chaplain (Maj.) Ronald Feeser Jr. from the 28th Bomb Wing.

“It’s important for us to commemorate these events and keep it in the collective public memory,” Feeser said. “There are people enlisting now, the next generation, who are too young to remember and so they won’t understand what today means.”

Approximately 35 men and women came together to participate in the ruck march, many of them carrying rucksacks filled with weights. Capt. Gabriel Michaloski, a 28th Operations Support Squadron airfield flight operations director of operations, participated alongside his wife.

“It’s important to participate in these events to build morale, comradery and physical fitness,” Michaloski said. “On 9/11, I think everyone has to do something out of the ordinary to commemorate the day. Patriot Day was a significant day in my life, where I saw Americans come together, and it’s important for us to never forget.”

Following the ruck march, the 28th Civil Engineer Squadron Fire Department conducted a memorial ceremony at the 28th BW headquarters.

Col. Eric Hresko, the 28th BW vice commander, addressed those in attendance.

“On Sept. 11, 2001, New York’s bravest responded to the call with the same confidence and commitment that all first responders are ingrained with. Despite knowing the odds were against them, they ran towards the burning towers, risking their lives so that others might live,” Hresko said. “That’s sacrifice, that’s selflessness, and that’s the courage we remember in our work each and every day here at Ellsworth Air Force Base.”

Memorial guest speaker Senior Master Sgt. Zachary Townsend, the 28th CES deputy fire chief, took a moment to share his personal memories of 9/11.

“I felt violated that a group of cowards had the audacity to come into our country, our home, and attempt to steal something from it – our sense of peace and freedom,” Townsend said. “They failed to realize that this country comes together in the face of adversity.”

As the ceremony came to a close, those in attendance reflected on that day during a moment of silence followed by the ringing of the 28th CES Fire Department bell. As a final remembrance, the 28th BW Honor Guard performed the posting of the colors to honor those who died during the events of 9/11.

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