Dragoons pay tribute to heroes of 9/11

Sept. 11, 2011

Sgt. Jerry Wilson 2CR Public Affairs

U.S. Army Europe

Photo credit Sgt. Jerry Wilson

Troopers of U.S. Army Europe's 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment stand in formation alongside their partners from the Bundeswehr's 122nd Panzer Grenadier Battalion during a 9/11 memorial ceremony at Rose Barracks in Vilseck, Germany, Sept. 11. During the ceremony a piece of the twin towers of New York's World Trade Center was donated to the German people to be incorporated into a memorial in the town of Oberviechtach.

VILSECK, Germany – Soldiers of 2nd Squadron, 2nd Cavalry Regiment gathered alongside their partners from the 122nd Panzer Grenadier Battalion to remember and pay tribute to those fallen heroes who gave the ultimate sacrifice during the tragic events that happened on Sept. 11th. The memorial ceremony was held Sunday at Rose Barracks to commemorate the 10th anniversary of that fateful day. The highlight was the symbolic presentation of a piece of the World Trade Center which was presented to the 122nd Panzer Grenadier Battalion for a Sept. 11th memorial in the city of Obervitach.

The 9/11 memorial was the brainchild of Herr Martin Zimmerman, Chairman of the German American Firefighters and Friends. Zimmerman and his colleagues worked tirelessly with American volunteers to obtain the 1,469 pound I-beam for the monument. The monument is dedicated to all those individuals who died that day as well as those German and American Soldiers, Firefighters and Rescue workers who selflessly dedicate their service to their communities.

“There are very few events in history that have become ingrained in our minds and have forever become part of our lives,” said Col. Keith Barclay, the 76th Colonel of the 2nd Cavalry Regiment. “The terrorist attacks on 9/11 are one of those events for most of us here.

“The events of that day were meant to cause chaos and fear,” he said. “Instead they united a nation and strengthened the bonds between allies.”

Barclay went on to acknowledge the support that was given to the American people by their German friends following the attack.

“We will never forget the two hundred thousand Germans who marched in solidarity to Brandenburg Gate as a demonstration of the international support for the victims of this attack,” Barclay said. “Here in Vilseck, we will never forget the community who laid mountains of flowers in sympathy at the gate of Rose Barracks.”

Barclay went on to thank the members of the 122nd Panzer Grenadier Battalion for their outstanding efforts during their recent deployment and their ongoing commitment to the fight against terrorism.

In his remarks, Herr Zimmerman reflected on the global impact 9/11 had on the international community.

“The fact that everyone can still tell where he or she was and what they did when the tragedies of 9/11 happened,” Zimmerman said, “shows how much it has affected and become a part of all of us.”

Zimmerman took a moment to discuss how the events of 9/11 served as a rallying point for the world community.

“Through a very painful event we were allowed to share an experience of true loyalty and friendship,” he said. “That tragedy brought together people who otherwise may not be together.”

“It takes a moment like this to see who will stand for truth, strength and faith in mankind no matter where you are from,” Zimmerman said. “Together we make a resemblance of what is good and right in this world.”

Zimmerman concluded stating that the artifact will stand as a symbol of dignity, strength and unity. It is these core beliefs that are present in both the American and German people and has allowed them to create a unique bond of solidarity and partnership.