Joint Base Langley-Eustis
The city of Hampton, Virginia, honored those lives lost in the terrorist attacks on 9/11 with the 18th annual “Reading of The Names” event at Gosnold Hope Park, Sept. 11, 2019.
The event brought together U.S. Air Force Airmen from the 30th Intelligence Squadron, civic leaders and local residents to take part in honoring those heroes and additionally those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This event is representing those first responders and lives that were lost on 9/11 and our brothers in arms who have passed away, paying that ultimate sacrifice,” said U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Daniel, 30th IS. “It is important for our Airmen to come and show their respect during the time the community has dedicated to honoring all of those lost.”
Each volunteer is given a sheet of paper with the names of the fallen and read them aloud around the memorial trees in the park. Each reader has a solemn duty to read the names they have been provided, to ensure those who have been lost are not forgotten.
The event continues a tradition that dates back to “Days of Remembrance and Hope” ceremonies held from December 11, 2001 to September 11, 2014.
According to U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Gerald, 30th IS, many of the 30th IS Airmen were born shortly before 9/11, so they may hardly have any memories, if any at all, about how horrible that day was and just how shocking it was for the nation.
“I think it’s important for our young Airmen to understand that it wasn’t just a tragic day on its own; it was a fundamental shift in the reality of how we live our lives,” Gerald said. “The memories of 9/11 for me are still fresh in my mind, but the impact it has on my life and others continues to this day.”