Emotion, Solemn Pride at USAMRDC 9/11 Ceremony
On a mild, overcast September morning, Brigadier General Michael Talley, Commanding General of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC) and Fort Detrick spoke in frank terms during his remarks at the annual 9/11 remembrance ceremony.
"Patriot Day reminds us that life can change in an instant," said Talley, who served as the lone speaker during the 19th annual iteration of the event.
The ceremony was designed – as were the thousands of other similar events taking place across the country on this day – to remember the lives of the nearly 3,000 victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks at sites in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. The ceremony at Fort Detrick, held at base of the American flag directly in front of the USAMRDC headquarters building, was attended by a number of Soldiers, civilians, and contractors, and further included representatives from the Fort Detrick Fire and Emergency Services Department – the latter of which stationed a pair of fire engines at USAMRDC headquarters in honor of the occasion.
"Soldiers serving now, some 19 years old, weren't even alive when this happened," said Talley, noting that a substantial portion of the current U.S. military is comprised of younger Soldiers who were very well inspired by the events of 9/11 to volunteer for service.
Additionally, Talley was keen to shine a spotlight on the Nation's entire first responder apparatus during his speech, noting the similarities made by the country's first responders both then and now.
Said Talley, "As we spend today remembering the victims of 9-11, we can see some similarities between that day and the challenges we are facing caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This virus has tragically claimed lives – and once again our first responders and medical workers are making great sacrifices in the name of health and safety – some losing their own lives in the end."
In addition to his remarks, Talley directed the customary lowering of the American flag to half-staff before leaving the assembled crowd with words designed to allow for solemn reflection while, also, attempting to encourage confidence in a secure future.
"The patriotism we saw after 9/11 helped the country come together," said Talley in closing. "And even now, our troops stand ready to protect our freedom across the globe and at home."