9/11: 'We will never forget'
Guam and the CNMI commemorated the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the nation.
During a remembrance ceremony at the U.S. Naval Base headquarters in Santa Rita, leadership from the Navy and Joint Region Marianas, along with the region's chief petty officers and chief selectees, gathered to honor those who gave their lives and paid a special tribute to them during morning and afternoon colors.
The flag raised was one that was flown over the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City and was presented to firefighters, from NBG Stations 1 and 6, and police officers, from NBG Navy Security Forces.
What has since become known as 9/11 refers to a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda against the United States on the morning of Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001 The simultaneous attacks in New York and Washington left a death toll of 2,996 including the terrorists who hijacked four flights.
Outside of the military base, Guam Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero directed all government of Guam agencies to lower the flags of the United States and to half-staff.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, the world stood still as it watched the terror that ripped through New York City, the Pentagon, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania,” Leon Guerrero said in a statement.
“No amount of distance could shield our island from the anguish and heartbreak of learning of these tragedies. Today, we remember and honor those we lost and the courage and bravery of those who fought to save lives.”
Lt. Gov. Joshua Tenorio said, “Our world—our lives—changed forever. September 11 is synonymous to the deadliest terror attacks in the world; the day 2,997 souls were taken from us. But more importantly, Sept. 11 is now a day we reject fear and unite in hope and love, and remember the heroes we lost and the heroes born.”
The Democratic Party of Guam issued the following statement:
“Today is solemn day for Americans everywhere, even those of us who are residents of an unincorporated territory 9,000 miles away from the sites of the single worst terrorist attacks in the nation’s history.
“We also pay tribute to the men and woman in uniform, both in the military and civilian law enforcement, and thousands of others who have died since that day in service to our nation as defenders of the democratic ideals of peace and freedom and to prevent tragedy of that scale from every happening again.
“We especially remember the men and women of Guam and Micronesia who have fallen in service to our country over the past 18 years and we pray with gratitude for those from our islands who stand in service to our nation and our island today.
"While we are grateful that a repeat of the events of 9-11 have to date been prevented, we share the concern and alarm that many Americans feel at the often confusing, chaotic, and disconcerting diplomatic and security policy as it is being conducted at the very highest levels of our national government today, including on the Korean Peninsula.
"We join all America in praying for stable, thoughtful, and productive foreign diplomatic and national security policy in the months and years ahead."
On Saipan, CNMI Gov. Ralph Torres directed that the flag of the Commonwealth be flown at half-staff until sunset.
Residents joined the Field of Heroes Freedom Walk at 5 p.m. from the Garapan Fishing Base to the American Memorial Park.
“Our country and our lives changed forever that fateful day 18 years ago. As proud Americans, we remain in solidarity with the rest of the nation in honoring the brave first responders, fearless members of our military, and ordinary Americans who went beyond the call of duty to save others. We will never forget,” Torres said.