(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) It's been 20 years since the tragic attacks on 9/11, and the 139th Airlift Wing continues to remember those who died on that day.
"We honor the members of this unit that has served and dedicated their lives to the defense of this country and we also look back at the history of the tragedy of 9/11 and those that were lost,” said 139th Wing Commander, Col. John Cluck.
While the memorial is to remind those about the tragedy of 9/11, and with it being the 20th Anniversary of those attacks, not every member in the 139th remembers or was even alive when it occurred.
So it is also a time to learn and understand.
"As our airmen become younger and younger, for an older guy like me, I pulled my members this morning and there was actually some hands that went up that were not born on this date 20 years ago,” said Vice Wing Commander 139th Airlift Wing, Col. Gordon Meyer.
"I think it's important as we’re getting older in life now, some of our members weren’t even born on 9/11 and many don’t remember the events of that day… it gives them an opportunity to understand what we’re going through and how it's impacted our unit as well as nation,” said Col. Cluck.
Along with impacting millions of Americans, post 9/11 changed the 139th deployments and missions.
“The direction of the wing focused on national defense. The guard as a whole become more and more of a reliable force to the nation to help fight global terrorism,” said Col. Meyer.
And with each passing day since 9/11 of 2001, a lesson has been taught and spoken frequently by those in the 139th Airlift Wing.
"We have to be ready at a moments notice, and so this is one of the important lessons that I use for a day to day purpose, that hey it's important that everyday we are ready to go, we have our tools, training equipment, personnel, ready to do the nations bidding whenever that call may come,” said Col. Meyer.