NEWS | Sept. 11, 2021

USAFMCOM commemorates 9/11 with stories of those affected

By Mark R. W. Orders-Woempner U.S. Army Financial Management Command

This Sept. 11 commemorates 20 years since the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.

To commemorate the lives lost on that fateful day, the U.S. Army Financial Management Command put together a special video, which was released a 9:59 a.m. ET, the time the South Tower of the World Trade Center collapsed.

The video can be viewed by clicking HERE

“These attacks were directed at more than just our citizens and institutions,” said Col. Paige M. Jennings, USAFMCOM commander, in the video’s opening. “They were directed at our Nation’s guiding ideals of freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

“They also brought us together like no other event since Pearl Harbor,” Jennings added.  

The video features the stories of four Americans who were directly impacted by the terrorist attacks.

Those include:

  • Master Sgt. Leroy “Alphanzo” Hunter, USAFMCOM Operations training noncommissioned officer in charge, who discussed how 9/11 inspired him to rejoin the Army;
  • Susan Gillison, USAFMCOM Military Pay Operations director, and her husband Aaron Gillison, Defense Finance and Accounting Service Operations deputy director, who was in the Pentagon on 9/11; and
  • Veronica Somaratna, USAFMCOM Fort Bragg Army Military Pay Office quality review technician, who answered emergency calls on that day.

Nearly 3,000 people perished on 9/11, and Jennings urged people to remember all those lost.

“Every time you hear the number we lost on 9/11, remember that every number has a name; every name has a story; and every one of those stories matters to their families, to our country and to God,” she said. “Our hearts still grieve for those who lost their loved ones that day, and we gain strength and inspiration from their ability to press on these many years.”

The colonel also encouraged those watching to find inspiration in how Americans came together in the aftermath of 9/11 in order to face the challenges of today.

“On this day, 20 years later, we must renew our commitment to our values and to one another,” she concluded. “We can do that best by once again committing to serve one another, by treating one another with love and respect, and by never giving up on the hope for peace and freedom.”

The video itself concludes with a special wreath laying ceremony outside the Maj. Gen. Emmett J. Bean Federal Center in Indianapolis.