Coast Guard Station Yaquina Bay personnel spent a big part of their Wednesday morning tolling the station bell, tolling it for each member of the First Responders as well as U.S. Servicemen and women who lost their lives during one of the worst days in the country’s history – the Al Qaeda attack on the U.S. on September 11, 2001. Nineteen terrorist hijackers flew three American airliners into prominent American symbols – The World Trade Center towers which burned and fell to the ground and the Pentagon, home of the U.S. Department of Defense, which was severely damaged. Passengers aboard a fourth airliner overpowered their hijackers who intended to destroy the White House. During the scuffle in the cockpit the plane went straight into the ground killing all on board. There were no survivors on the other flights.
All tolled, nearly 3,000 people died that day. The incidents directly precipitated America’s direct military action in Iraq and Afghanistan which ultimately produced the assassination of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Coast Guard Yaquina Bay Commander BOSN3 Robert Ornelas addressed his personnel in front of their headquarters Wednesday morning saying that 9-11, 2001 is a sad day in the country’s history and that they gather to grieve for those who lost their lives as well as for their surviving families who will have to continue with their lives without their friends and loved ones who were lost that fateful day.
Commander Ornelas led his fellow Coast Guardsmen in a prolonged moment of silence in memory of those who died in the disaster including 528 first responders and U.S. servicemen and women who also perished trying to help others survive. Ornelas led off tolling the station bell for every first responder life that was cut short by the attack. The bell tolling for the 528 names took a major part of the morning. But here’s the way it looked, sounded and felt as each guardsman exercised their solemn duty to remember and commemorate.