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Dakota Meyer, the youngest living Medal of Honor recipiant, stands at attention while Marines, Sailors and first responders salute the colors as taps played aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., during a 9/11 Warrior Recognition Evening Colors Ceremony, Sept. 11. The Marines of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and MCAS Miramar observed Patriot Day by honoring the sacrifice of the first responders and service members who gave their lives, as well as recognizing Lt. Col. Christopher K. Raible and Sgt. Bradley W. Atwell for their actions during the attack on Camp Bastion, Sept. 14, 2012.

Photo by Sgt. Frances Goch

3rd MAW hosts special colors ceremony in memory of 9/11 and Camp Bastion attack

13 Sep 2013 | Lance Cpl. Christopher Johns

Thousands of Marines, Sailors and guests gathered for the 9/11 Warrior Recognition Evening Colors Ceremony hosted by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing and Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., aboard the air station, Sept. 11.
 
The ceremony served as a memorial to all who lost their lives in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the service members who gave their lives during the War on Terror and more recently in the attack on Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, Sept. 14, 2012. The 9/11 Warrior Recognition Evening Ceremony broke record numbers, drawing in more than 5,000 guests.

Sgt. Dakota Meyer, the youngest living Medal of Honor recipient and guest of honor for the ceremony, gave his remarks in honor of Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, Sgt. Bradley Atwell and all past and present heroes.

During the event, Marines also paid special tribute to living Medal of Honor recipients, retired Col. Robert Modrzejewski and retired Col. Jay Vargas.
 
“Since 1775, Marines have fought in every clime and place … and in each warzone Marines have risen to the occasion and our flag has flown high,” said Sgt. Roberto Gonzales, the reviewing officer for the event with Marine Wing Support Squadron 373. “Sept. 11 and Camp Bastion are no different. Ladies and gentlemen, make no mistake; the enemy was defeated with that warrior spirit that was instilled in all of us since day one of recruit training and Officer Candidate School.”

Sgt. Dakota Meyer spoke to crowds aboard the air station about his own experiences and thoughts of the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the attack on Camp Bastion.

“September 11 is a huge day for all of us, not just as Marines or first responders, but as Americans,” said Meyer. “We can all pretty much tell you where we were standing when we found out that the World Trade Center had fallen. Today we memorialize the men, women and families who sacrificed so much to protect our country and keep us free. I look at this day as a day of hope. It’s a day that so much confusion was caused and felt, the question of what we would do now. The Marines, first responders and all the other services didn’t ask that question; they took matters into their own hands and did the best they could.”

After colors played and a moment of silence, Marines lowered the flag as the sun set, signaling the end of the ceremony, but not an end to the memory. All who gathered left reminded of those who lost their lives in both the attacks and in defense of American freedom.


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing