FAIRBORN — Citizens and first responders from across the Fairborn community gathered at the National Center for Medical Readiness Friday morning to commemorate the 19th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001.
Fairborn Fire Chief David Reichert addressed the assembled community during the event in front of the Fairborn 9/11 memorial, a concrete slab with a steel beam taken from the destroyed Twin Towers.
“These are soul-marker events,” he said. “We have a whole generation of new adults who were not born when these attacks happened.”
Many at the event could remember exactly where they were on this day 19 years ago. Ann Foster, an Air Force veteran and the historian of American Legion Post 526, said she was living in Colorado Springs at the time.
“Someone told me to go back inside and look at the TV,” she said. “It was quite a shock.”
Fairborn has held its 9/11 memorial ceremony every year since the Twin Towers fell. It was important, not only to leaders but to members of the community, to continue the tradition in spite of the global pandemic. According to Foster, being a military-connected community, Fairborn citizens can connect in some ways to what the country experienced that day.
“I served for 20 years,” she said. “My job was in personal affairs, where you look after the family that’s left after somebody. So I understood what those families were going through.”
Paul Dehner Sr. of the Fairborn Chamber of Commerce said his two sons were living in downtown New York at the time, one of whom traveled under the twin towers to get to work.
“All of the communication towers were on top of the World Trade Center, so we couldn’t call them,” he said. “It wasn’t until later that day that they could get to a computer and send an email that they were safe. But they had lost friends.”
The honor guard of Post 526 fired a three volley salute in honor of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Dehner led the assembly in a rendition of “God Bless America,” and retired Sgt. Del Braund of the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office performed “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes.
“Fairborn is dedicated to this premise,” Dehner said. “We will never forget.”
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