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380AEW Article

Al Dhafra Air Base holds special retreat ceremony honoring 9/11 fallen first responders

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Nieko Carzis
  • 380th Air Expeditionary Wing


On the 17 year anniversary of 9/11, memorial pieces where displayed at Al Dhafra Air Base during revile and retreat ceremonies as Airmen, fire fighters, security forces, and coalition partners paid tribute to those who lost their lives, Sept. 11.

The ceremony consisted of the ringing of the bells before the raising and lowering of the U.S. Flag. Each bell ring symbolized the first responders who died trying to provide care and rescue.

Additionally, the five bell rings during the ceremony also represents the five major tragedies that took place on 9/11. The first ring represents the moment Flight 11 hit the north tower of the World Trade Center, followed by the second ring which marks when Flight 175 was flown into the south tower. The third ring marks when flight 77 hit the Pentagon, and the last two rings symbolizes when Flight 93 hit the ground near Shanksville, PA, and when the north tower fell.

 In a message to the 380th Air Expeditionary Wing, Commander Brig. Gen. Adrian Spain thanked Airmen for their decision to join the U.S. Air Force and their commitment to protecting freedom.

 “However you came to be here in this place, doing this mission...thank you. Thank you all, whatever your reasons, for being together in this global struggle, for committing to the ideal of a world free from this twisted ideology, and for being a vessel for that change. I'm proud to serve with you,” said Spain. 

At the end of the ceremonies, Airmen and coalition partners continued to pay homage to first responders by participating in a 5k memorial run. The runners were able to don a lanyard holding a photo and a name of a first responder who died in the line of duty on 9/11. Once the runners completed the race, they rang the bell in honor of the fallen.