Base pauses as 9/11 fallen remembered

DOZENS of Suffolk-based airmen yesterday paused to remember those who perished in the 9/11 suicide attacks in the US.

Nearly 3,000 people from more than 70 countries around the world were killed on September 11, 2001, when four planes were hijacked.

Two were flown into the Twin Towers, one crashed into the Pentagon building and the fourth went into a field in Pennsylvania.

Yesterday airmen at RAF Mildenhall gathered in a central square on the base for a ceremony in honour of those who died.

Colonel David Doe, 100th Mission Support Group commander at RAF Mildenhall, told those gathered at the ceremony: “It is at this particular event that we come together to recognise the over 400 public servants, specifically 343 firefighters and paramedics and 60 police officers, who perished during the rescue efforts of September 11, 2001.

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“Not unlike the oaths we take as military members, these police officers, firefighters and paramedics took oaths to protect and serve the hard-working public no matter how horrific the circumstances, and horrific circumstances are truly what they faced.

“Today, our firefighters and security force defenders from RAF Mildenhall remember the sacrifices of their fellow rescue workers nine years ago.

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“Ironically, in the Air Force, these career fields, particularly our security forces, have been deployed by the tens of thousands to prosecute the war on terror that followed 9/11.”

Next week, the base will be remembering service personnel who either went missing in action (MIA) or became prisoners of war (POW) during previous conflicts.

Events planned at the base include a talk by Captain Robert Wolff, former 100th Bomb Group, who became a POW during the Second World War. There will also be a motorcycle ride, 5km run and a 24-hour vigil, during which the names of POWs and MIAs will be read out.

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