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Fourteen years later: where were you on 9/11?

By Lance Cpl. Jonah Lovy | Marine Aircraft Group 31 | September 11, 2015

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 Fourteen years have passed since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Service members around the world look back on that horrible day and remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. The younger generation to enlist and serve may be too young to remember the trag­ic events but still feel the weight of 9/11 on their shoulders.

 

That tragic day, two planes crashed into the World Trade Center towers, one into the Pentagon and one in the fields of Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 people. United Airlines Flight 93 crashed before reaching the terrorists target in Washing­ton, D.C., because of the heroic actions of passengers on board.

 

Sgt. Maj. Paul T. Davis, the Sergeant Ma­jor of Marine Aircraft Group 31 aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, clearly remembers the events that day.

 

“At the time, I was a drill instructor at Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island,” said Davis. “I remember the day. The re­cruits were in the base theater receiving a class from the bank. I went next door to the Exchange and saw it on the TV. I thought it was a movie that was coming out soon, until I realized it was live news of the attack.”

 

As a Marine, Davis knew that this attack would af­fect him directly and that the years ahead would be long and difficult.

 

“I was very upset,” said Davis “It also made me re­alize and understand how important it is as a Marine to be combat ready.”

 

The Marine Corps would go on to play critical roles in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, calling more and more Marines to the battlefield.

 

“It stretched the Marine Corps thin with back to back deployments,” said Davis. “It also proved that we are still the most deadly force in the world. I believe our role has not changed. It has only increased. So have our capabilities.”

 

Some Marines have no recollection of the attack but grew up in a nation at war with an often un­known enemy.

 

Lance Cpl. Phillip Col­leman, an administrative clerk with Headquarters and Headquarters Squad­ron aboard MCAS Beau­fort, was too young to understand what was hap­pening on Sept. 11. All he knows is the fourteen years of aftermath changed this country forever.

 

“I remember all the heightened security at air­ports and sports games,” said Colleman. “It doesn’t seem like there was as much attention to those concerns before the at­tack.”

 

Colleman grew up with images of terrorism and war on the news eventu­ally inspiring him to enlist in the Marine Corps.

 

“It seems like Marines are always in the position to do something about terrorism,” said Colleman. “I wanted to be part of the solution and to make the world a safer place to live.”

Looking towards the fu­ture, both Davis and Colle­man are optimistic about the continued safety of the nation.

 

“A lot has been put in place since 9/11,” said Da­vis. “The FBI, NSA, State Department, and CIA have all stepped up their game along with the Marines. If the call is given we will continue to go do what we do best and be the world’s protectors.”


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