9/11: A day of remembrance
By Airman Christina Bennett, 28th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 11, 2018
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.