NEWS | Sept. 14, 2021

Army Reserve leaders honor 9/11 fallen

By Staff Sgt. Shawn Morris 99th Readiness Division

The U.S. Army Reserve honored six Soldiers who died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center during a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony held Sept. 12 outside the Ernie Pyle U.S. Army Reserve Center here.

Maj. Gen. Rodney Faulk, commanding general of the U.S. Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division headquartered on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, New Jersey, and Command Sgt. Maj. Andrew Lombardo, command sergeant major of the U.S. Army Reserve, delivered remarks during the ceremony.

“These six heroes, as well as countless others just like them, refused to let the terrorists win on that fateful day,” said Faulk, who has deployed three times in support of post-9/11 operations. “The lives of those who were lost will never be forgotten; their patriotism can never be questioned; their valor will likely never be matched; and their sacrifice can never be repaid.

“The shared experience of September 11th, 2001 united America and reignited a sense of shared American pride and patriotism across the land,” he continued. “Many of today’s Soldiers were inspired to join the Army in response to the horrific events of 9/11, and have served our country valiantly in the 20 years since that fateful day.”

“We vowed we would never forget, and here we all are – firefighters, police officers, Soldiers, first responders – New York’s Bravest, Finest and Best,” said Lombardo, who serves with the New York City Police Department in his civilian career.

“For the past 20 years, every time I’ve thought or read about my fellow Army Reserve Soldiers who died at their posts wearing Army green or rescue gear marked ‘FDNY,’ ‘NYPD’ or ‘FDNY-EMS,’ I realize how fortunate I am to be able to come home to my wife every day,” he added.

This annual event, hosted this year by the 151st Theater Information Operations Group, pays tribute to the former 77th Regional Support Command’s Chief Warrant Officer Ronald Bucca, Staff Sergeant Frederick Ill, Captain Michael Mullan, Sergeant Shawn Powell, Captain Mark Whitford and Lieutenant Colonel William Pohlmann.

“Over the past 20 years, more than 420,000 Army Reserve Soldiers have served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Lombardo, who has deployed six times during his Army career.

“Each of you stood and continues to stand for what is right; you’ve demonstrated bravery; you represent everything that is great about America; and 20 years later, our nation is safe because of you,” he said to the Soldiers in formation. “Over the past two decades, you responded just as the American people expected – with loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.”

“To paraphrase Gen. George S. Patton: While we mourn those who died that day, we should also be thankful that such people lived – people who stood fast in the face of the enemy, such as the men and women of the 77th Regional Support Command,” Faulk said.

“While I was deployed to Iraq from 2005 to 2006, I commanded the largest military internment facility in the world, located at Camp Bucca, Iraq,” he continued. “I feel privileged to honor the Soldier for whom that camp was named, alongside these other great American patriots.”