FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — Community members and first responders gathered at Fort Drum on September 8 to commemorate the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

This took the form of a wreath-laying ceremony and was held at Fort Drum’s “Lest We Forget” monument outside Clark Hall.

An invocation was delivered by Fort Drum Chaplain Captain Young Kim. He spoke on the importance of reflection.

“Almost 21 years ago, the date September 11 was forever seared into our memories,” Capt. Kim said, “As 13 terrorists attacked our nation with such barbarity and brutality – unequal in our history. We take a pause this morning to remember many innocent lives lost and pay tribute to the many heroes who gave their lives so that many others may live.”

Retired Fort Drum Fire Captain Robert Tennies, who has narrated the ceremony over a dozen times, said observations like this are more than necessary.

“If we don’t, then there’s a chance someday we will forget,” Tennies said. “It’s good that we keep coming together every year to pause and remember what happened. It’s important that we honor those who have fallen, that we don’t forget, and carry the tradition forward.”

Tennies went on to add that even in times of divisiveness, remembering the September 11 attacks serves as a story of unity, resiliency and compassion.

“On that day, America came together as one,” he said. “Where we seem so divided by things right now, on the anniversary of 9/11 we should remember how strong we are as a country and come together as one. We should do that for the people who died that day – the people on board the planes, the firefighters and first responders. That’s what this should remind us of.”