JEB Little Creek-Fort Story Remembers September 11th
Navy chief petty officer (CPO)-selectees assigned to Joint Expeditionary Base (JEB) Little Creek-Fort Story conducted a 9/11 Patriotic Day Ceremony in remembrance of the terrorist attacks, September 11.
The ceremony, held in honor of the 11th anniversary of 9/11, honored those who perished in the attacks as well as highlighted American resolve and unity, and featured heartfelt personal accounts delivered to the audience from base officials.
“Everyone remembers where they were on 9/11,” said Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story Command Master Chief Andrew Desmond Thompson. “I was completing a seven-month deployment on the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65). We were [heading up] the Suez Canal with home in our sights. We immediately did an about face to engage the enemy and I heard not one complaint.”
The ceremony also included the JEB color guard parading the colors and music provided by Newport News Police Pipe and Drums.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to remember the people we’ve lost and to remember those still engaged in the fight now,” said Chief (select) Interior Communications Electrician Joe McCleland who was also on board Enterprise during the terrorist attacks. “There are still several thousand service members who are out there. It’s a great opportunity for us to remember where we are today and how we got here.”
Thompson expressed his gratitude to the vigilance displayed by Sailors on board Enterprise during that time.
“I saw execution with exactness,” said Thompson. “Sailors knew what to do and did it without hesitation. It was a great day to be an American, despite the tragedy. It was great to be a part of that team. We knew our resolve was strong and we would get there and be victorious.”
Capt. Charles L. Stuppard, commanding officer of Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story quoted former President George W. Bush’s address to the nation from Sept. 12, 2001.
“I will fear no evil and no American will ever forget this day,” Stuppard said. “Today, almost 11 years later here at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story, home of our Navy Expeditionary forces … we will remember.”
Naval Today Staff, September 13, 2012; Image: US Navy