FORT RILEY (KSNT) — It was a sad, calm, yet peaceful day at Fort Riley as the 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony took place.
It was also a time of memories. “Today it brings back a huge amount of emotions,” said Major General Wayne W. Grigsby Jr., the Commanding General of 1st Infantry Division. “Woke up this morning and it was like I remember the exact day, the time that it happened, I mean, it’s changed our lives forever.”
Dozens of people came to honor the men and women who lost their lives on 9/11 with prayer, speeches, the laying of a wreath and joining in a moment of silence.
Today wasn’t just about 9/11; it’s also about the 213 soldiers from Fort Riley who lost their lives fighting the War on Terrorism.
“We miss our son… It’s always hard, we think of him every day, particularly this day,” says Michael Mazzarella who lost his son Anthony on July 5, 2005 at the age of 22. Just one of many who have lost their loved one as the First Infantry Division played its role in the War on Terror with one deployment overseas after another.
“This is what he wanted to do, so he died in that service and, you know, I can’t complain about that,” says Mazzarella.
Grigbsy says today is also a day to send a message to the nation’s enemies: “So they know. Fort Riley. The best place to train, the best place to deploy from, best place to come home to is Fort Riley, and we’re gonna train and were gonna continue to be brave, responsible, on point. So, when the phone call comes. we’re going to be ready.”
Even knowing there’s a price to be paid.