JOINT BASE ANDREWS, Md. –
Members of Joint Base Andrews, Prince George's County Police and Fire Departments, and the base's honorary commanders gathered during a memorial ceremony Sept. 11 to pay their respect to the nearly 3,000 individuals lost on 9/11.
The events that took place 22 years ago deeply affected many Americans, including the men and women stationed at Andrews who received notification of the threat rapidly approaching the National Capital Region. Base members were also among the millions of Americans who watched on national television as the first two planes struck the twin towers in New York City.
After the third plane struck the Pentagon, and it was reported that a fourth plane was unaccounted for and could potentially target the capital, the White House, or Air Force One's hangar, the base initiated full defensive operations. This experience directly impacted U.S. Air Force Col. Todd E. Randolph, 316th Wing and installation commander, who was stationed at Andrews at the time.
"This was a challenging and uncertain period for all of us. We worked tirelessly through the night, barely finding time to rest," said Randolph during the ceremony. He then discussed how this attack reshaped the way America safeguarded its homeland and emphasized the importance of never forgetting the tragedies of that day.
"As tough and grueling as that fateful day and the days since have been, they pale in comparison to the pain of losing thousands of our fellow Americans and the continued mourning of their friends and families," Randolph lamented.