NEWS | Sept. 13, 2016

Stand together and remember 9/11

By Spc. Nicole Nicolas 318th Press Camp Headquarters

FORT SHERIDAN, Ill. – “Attention!” yelled 1st Sgt. Luis Varela from the 75th Great Lakes Training Command. The sun shone down on more than 120 soldiers and civilians standing in formation as they shouted back, “Make ready!”

  “Forward, march!” Varela said. They gradually started to march in step. After Varela yelled, “Double time!” everyone immediately picked up speed and began chanting cadences. 

  The 75th Great Lakes Training Command hosted the first 9/11 Remembrance Run at Fort Sheridan Sunday morning.  Participants received medals and t-shirts. 

  Brig. Gen. John Hussey from the 75th Great Lakes Training Command asserted that he organized this run to bring together civilians and soldiers to not only reflect on 9/11, but also remember the military personnel who served in Afghanistan and Iraq. 

  One runner, Beth Anne Chmara from Highwood, Illinois, said Hussey’s speech before the run inspired her. 

  Hussey reminded participants, as they ran forward, to remember the first responders who ran toward the twin towers. 

  “Brigadier General’s speech today really brought home so much unity,” Chmara said. “It was really inspirational to be a part of the run.”

  During the run Chmara, the 75th Training Command, 801st Support Hospital and the 330th Medical Command of the Great Lakes Training Base sang cadences. 

  Chmara enjoyed the cadence titled “When My Granny” the most because it reminded her of her Grandma who is as feisty as the grandma in the song.

  “Next year, we expect to have a bigger turnout because of the great feedback we received from this year’s run,” said Lt. Col. Kevin Coleman. 

  Varela agreed that the motivation and espirit de corps of civilians and soldiers exceeded his expectations. 

  “It’s a somber day, but at the same time whatever you do, don’t put your head low. Hold your head and candles high,” Hussey said. “We are one: the government, the American public and military. We stand together.”