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Airman 1st Class Caple Moore, crew chief of 494th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, runs for 30 minutes with an American flag at RAF Lakenheath, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, for the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Airmen and their families volunteered to run the track while carrying a flag over the course of nine hours and 11 minutes.

Airman 1st Class Caple Moore, crew chief of 494th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, runs for 30 minutes with an American flag at RAF Lakenheath, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, for the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Airmen and their families volunteered to run the track while carrying a flag over the course of nine hours and 11 minutes. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)

Airman 1st Class Caple Moore, crew chief of 494th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, runs for 30 minutes with an American flag at RAF Lakenheath, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, for the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Airmen and their families volunteered to run the track while carrying a flag over the course of nine hours and 11 minutes.

Airman 1st Class Caple Moore, crew chief of 494th Aircraft Maintenance Unit, runs for 30 minutes with an American flag at RAF Lakenheath, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, for the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Airmen and their families volunteered to run the track while carrying a flag over the course of nine hours and 11 minutes. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)

Tech Sgt. David Dowell of the 100th Communications Squadron, and Stacey Robinson run for 30 minutes with an American flag at RAF Lakenheath, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, for the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Airmen and their families volunteered to run the track while carrying a flag over the course of nine hours and 11 minutes as a 9/11 moving tribute.

Tech Sgt. David Dowell of the 100th Communications Squadron, and Stacey Robinson run for 30 minutes with an American flag at RAF Lakenheath, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, for the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in the United States. Airmen and their families volunteered to run the track while carrying a flag over the course of nine hours and 11 minutes as a 9/11 moving tribute. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)

Airmen from the 100th Air Refueling Wing and the 48th Fighter Wing participate in a 9/11 memorial at RAF Mildenhall, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. It's the 15th anniversary for the 9/11 attacks on American soil.

Airmen from the 100th Air Refueling Wing and the 48th Fighter Wing participate in a 9/11 memorial at RAF Mildenhall, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. It's the 15th anniversary for the 9/11 attacks on American soil. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)

RAF Lakenheath Fire Chief Steven Kelly speaks to airmen from the 100th Air Refueling Wing and 48th Fighter Wing about the during the 9/11 attacks at a memorial at RAF Mildenhall, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. It's the 15th anniversary of the attacks, which took place in 2001.

RAF Lakenheath Fire Chief Steven Kelly speaks to airmen from the 100th Air Refueling Wing and 48th Fighter Wing about the during the 9/11 attacks at a memorial at RAF Mildenhall, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. It's the 15th anniversary of the attacks, which took place in 2001. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)

Airman 1st Class Redmond Floyd, fireman, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron, rings a fire bell 15 times during a 9/11 memorial at RAF Mildenhall, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Each ring represented a year since the attacks on American soil.

Airman 1st Class Redmond Floyd, fireman, 100th Civil Engineer Squadron, rings a fire bell 15 times during a 9/11 memorial at RAF Mildenhall, England, Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. Each ring represented a year since the attacks on American soil. (William Howard/Stars and Stripes)

The top leaders of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, Col. Lance Varney and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Todd, along with James Joyce and Brian Flick, senior members of the Grafenwoehr branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, deliver wreaths as part of the Patriot Day remembrance ceremony held at Grafenwoehr, Germany, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, to commemorate the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The top leaders of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, Col. Lance Varney and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Todd, along with James Joyce and Brian Flick, senior members of the Grafenwoehr branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, deliver wreaths as part of the Patriot Day remembrance ceremony held at Grafenwoehr, Germany, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, to commemorate the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

Col. Todd Fish, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, speaks during a 9/11 remembrance observance Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany. The observance marked the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Col. Todd Fish, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, speaks during a 9/11 remembrance observance Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany. The observance marked the 15th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)

Col. Lance Varney, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, speaks to a gathered group of soldiers and civilians during a 9/11 remembrance ceremony  at held at Grafenwoehr, Germany, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.

Col. Lance Varney, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, speaks to a gathered group of soldiers and civilians during a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at held at Grafenwoehr, Germany, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

Lt. Col. Robert Gunther, a training officer with U.S. Army Europe, plays ''Amazing Grace'' on the bagpipes during U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's 9/11 remembrance ceremony held Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany. Dozens of servicemembers, veterans and civilian staff attended the solemn remembrance, which marked 15 years since the attacks.

Lt. Col. Robert Gunther, a training officer with U.S. Army Europe, plays ''Amazing Grace'' on the bagpipes during U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden's 9/11 remembrance ceremony held Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany. Dozens of servicemembers, veterans and civilian staff attended the solemn remembrance, which marked 15 years since the attacks. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)

Soldiers observe a minute of silence during a 9/11 remembrance observance Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany.

Soldiers observe a minute of silence during a 9/11 remembrance observance Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at Clay Kaserne in Wiesbaden, Germany. (Dan Stoutamire/Stars and Stripes)

U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria?s commander, Col. Lance Varney, and its top enlisted soldier, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Todd, along with James Joyce and Brian Flick, senior members of the Grafenwoehr branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, stand during a moment of silence at ceremony held at Grafenwoehr, Germany  on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, to commemorate the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria?s commander, Col. Lance Varney, and its top enlisted soldier, Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Todd, along with James Joyce and Brian Flick, senior members of the Grafenwoehr branch of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, stand during a moment of silence at ceremony held at Grafenwoehr, Germany on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, to commemorate the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

Sgt. Carlos Perez, from the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria headquarters, plays taps to close a 9/11 remembrance ceremony held at Grafenwoehr, Germany, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016.

Sgt. Carlos Perez, from the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria headquarters, plays taps to close a 9/11 remembrance ceremony held at Grafenwoehr, Germany, on Friday, Sept. 9, 2016. (Michael S. Darnell/Stars and Stripes)

Officers and enlisted laid wreaths and held a moment of silence at garrisons in Europe to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on New York and the Pentagon.

In Wiesbaden, Germany, home to U.S. Army Europe, garrison commander Col. Todd Fish recalled that day 15 years ago as a moment that changed America.

“I will remember that day as a reminder of the resilient American spirit,” he said. ”We honor and remember those lost, and we also recognize that on that date, a date which once held no special meaning to us, our country and a generation of Americans were changed in an instant.”

Following Fish’s remarks at Veterans Park on Clay Kaserne, the somber notes of “Amazing Grace” were played on bagpipes, followed by a minute’s silence.

In the United Kingdom, airmen at RAF Lakenheath and RAF Mildenhall also marked the anniversary. They participated in a 9/11 Moving Tribute at RAF Lakenheath hosted by Team RWB and 48th Force Support Squadron. For 9 hours and 11 minutes airmen and civilians volunteered to run with an American flag for a 30 to 60 minute duration around the track in remembrance of the 9/11 attacks.

The 9/11 remembrance memorial at RAF Mildenhall was hosted by the 48th Fighter Wing and 100th Air Refueling Wing. RAF Lakenheath Fire Chief Steven Kelly spoke about the heroic sacrifices 15 years ago during the attacks, a fire bell was rung 15 times followed by the playing of taps and a gun salute.

At the U.S. Army training grounds in Grafenwoehr, Germany, the garrison’s top leaders and representatives from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter, delivered flowered wreaths to the base of a memorial with 19 names etched on it.

Those are the names of members of the 172nd Infantry Brigade who were killed in action during Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. The unit, which once called Grafenwoehr home, is long gone, having been inactivated in 2013. The memorial to those men still remains, as does the weight of their sacrifice.

The 9/11 attacks “changed the military, changed our culture, changed kind of our way of life that we see on a regular basis, not just for the United States, but for everybody,” said U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Todd. “It’s looking at that sacrifice and understanding there is still resolve and there is still commitment. We don’t ever want to forget.”

Other soldiers, largely enlisted men like those found on the memorial, were also in attendance. Some, like Staff Sgt. Ryan Tucker and Sgt. Stephen Kiss with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, said the attacks on Sept. 11 had a profound impact on their decision to enlist.

“My grandfather served in the 82nd, he was a paratrooper before me, so I kind of had myself geared towards what I wanted to do already,” said Kiss, who joined the Army in 2009. “Those attacks put that more in motion for me.”

The Army already has soldiers too young to really remember the 9/11 attacks. In just a few years more fresh recruits, who were born into a world without the Twin Towers, will be enlisting.

Despite the ever-broadening expanse of time since the attacks, some, like James Joyce, commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars post at Grafenwoehr, hope the anniversary continues to be officially marked and the events of that day remembered well into the future.

“We lost a lot of people, military and civilians alike. We’ll never forget, never,” Joyce said. “As long as there is one of us alive, we’ll never forget.”

Stars and Stripes reporter William Howard contributed to this report.stoutamire.dan@stripes.comdarnell.michael@stripes.com


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