Navy retires flag in 9/11 remembrance

New London

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH)– A moment of silence on a day to remember.

“The shock and horror of that tragic day 18 years ago has subsided. Replaced now is an emptiness and a longing for an innocence now lost,” said Chaplain, LT James Holiday.

He addressed the crowd gathered next to the Nautilus at the Submarine Force Library and Museum.

After each toll of a bell the tragic events of 9/11 were remembered.

“8:46 a.m. five hijackers crash American Airlines Flight 11 into floors 93 through 99 of One World Trade Center North tower,” said Chief Select Kyle Nelson. “The 76 passengers and eleven crew members on board are killed instantly.”

“To me remembering 9/11 is about remembering the unfortunate hate and evil that still does exist but it also gives us a chance to remember those brave men and women and first responders,” said CMDCM Raj Sochi.

9/11 was also a call to action for those who defend our nation’s freedom.

2,977 people perished in New York, Washington, and in a field in Pennsylvania.

“Let it be said on this patriot day that we will always remember and we will never forget,” said Chief Select Nelson as he fought back tears.

9/11 remembrance and flag retirement ceremony at the Submarine Force Library & Museum in Groton, Conn. (9/11/2019)

Honoring the past at a time with high hopes for the future.

“Our first sailors are graduating boot camp right now were born after 9/11 so excited to see what their generation brings to service to our nation,” said CMDCM Sochi.

As part of Wednesday’s ceremony an American flag was retired.

“My finest hour comes when I’m torn in strips to be used for bandages for my wounded comrades in the field of battle,” announced one of the speakers.

Each stripe was cut from the national emblem and placed in a barrel of flames.

“Each stripe of the flag represented a different, a certain aspect of democracy and history in fighting for the freedom that we all enjoy today,” said SUBASE Commanding officer Capt. Todd Moore.

The field of blue was the last piece put to rest as taps were played by a trumpeter

Afterwards other flags were retired in the same flames which were used during the ceremony. The ashes from the flags are buried in one spot and the metal rings are buried in another spot.

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