Gulfport Seabee Base commemorates 20th anniversary of 9/11 attacks
GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - With the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on Saturday, the Naval Construction Battalion Center in Gulfport decided to commemorate the event a day early.
The Seabee Base Theater housed military members to take in the sights and sounds of the 9/11 terrorist attacks through a video and a round of speakers.
“Today we are going to talk about 9/11, 2001,” Lt. Asdru Arana said. “It was three years prior to me actually joining the Navy.”
They spoke about their experiences after the attacks and how it shaped the U.S. military.
“Things changed very rapidly. Our missions changed and our forces changed,” Capt. Jeffrey Powell said. “The Seabees particularly were doing largely peacetime deployments and in the subsequent years almost every number of our force went to Iraq or Afghanistan, sometimes multiple times.”
Others remembered the attacks as being the reason they enlisted.
“I said, ‘I’m mad. I want to do something about it. I want to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” SWC Jarrod Cagle said.
Organizers wanted to commemorate the day, the lives lost, and the feelings Americans felt in the aftermath.
“We were pushing hard here today to rebuild the patriotism, the unity, the make sure it’s preserved. Multiple countries, multiple races, multiple cultures, and on that September the 12th they all came together,” RP2 Jason Hunt said.
Officials say it’s not only important to remember the day but for those who weren’t even born yet.
“Clearly this is a milestone anniversary for the 9/11 events. It’s always a solemn event every year. I think this one in particular. It’s an important number. We also basically have a whole generation. We have 19, 18, 20-year-olds that weren’t even born yet and they’re the youngest members of our force,” Powell said.
While the ultimate goal was to commemorate the lives lost on 9/11, speakers also mentioned the lessons they tragically learned.
“We’re in crazy times right now so don’t let another national event be the reason we all come together,” Lt. Asdru Arana said.
The Seabee base is holding a stair climb tomorrow morning to commemorate the first responders who lost their lives in the attacks.
The event starts at 7 a.m., and anyone with base access can attend.
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