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Team Shaw Honor Guard participates in 9/11 memorial

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Steven Cardo
  • 20th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

U.S. Air Force honor guard Airmen assigned to Shaw Air Force Base participated in the annual 9/11 “Morning of Remembrance” ceremony in Columbia, alongside other military service members and first responders on Sept. 11, 2023.

Team Shaw’s ceremonial guardsmen represented the United States Air Force in a large-scale ceremony dedicated to preserving the memories of the service members and first responders from South Carolina who have fallen in defense of their nation and communities since the Sept. 11th attacks.

“Being assigned to Shaw AFB comes with sharing a legacy with the many remarkable men and women who served in South Carolina,” said U.S. Air Force Col. Kristoffer Smith, 20th Fighter Wing commander. “That’s a privilege we take immense pride in. This state’s history of service and patriotism joins us all together like family, so it’s special to come together in honoring those who passed away on 9/11, as well as those who have fallen in service since then. We’ll always hold them in the highest esteem today and every day.”

This year commemorates 22 years since the attacks and it is the collective responsibility of the force to help younger generations learn about the events, to tell the stories of the people lost, and to share the spirit of courage, resilience, and resolve demonstrated by ordinary citizens, first responders, military and international partners.

Current and former military members, first responders and their families attended the event and watched as ceremonial representatives from each military branch and emergency service assumed formation and saluted a monument dedicated to the fallen heroes who called South Carolina home.

“This would be the only service I’ve been to that really brings together the first responders and military service members equally,” said retired U.S. Army Maj. David Kerr, 9/11 Remembrance Foundation of South Carolina vice chairman of operations. “It’s all about partnership and this event in Columbia just brings everyone together.”

All Airmen suffered loss that day, whether it was the loss of family members, friends, brothers and sisters in arms or even the most basic sense of security. As part of the Department of Defense community, the Air Force remains united in defense of the United States from future attacks.