USS GREEN BAY, At sea - Sailors and Marines aboard amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20) conducted a 9/11 memorial service while underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR) Sept. 11.
The ceremony marked the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center buildings on 9/11 and commemorated those who lost their lives that day.
"Today we reflect back on a period in our nation's history, to the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001," said Cmdr. Kevin P. Meyers, commanding officer of Green Bay. "In the minds of the terrorists, a strike would paralyze Americans with fear, cause our economy to falter and collapse, and would allow extremists to establish their foothold in the Middle East and beyond."
"Our military actions over the last decade have served notice throughout the world that we will defend our homeland as we always have," Meyers said. "We will not cower in fear or hide in our homes, we will take the fight to our enemy wherever they might be, and in the end, the courage, heart, grit and determination found in every American will win the day."
Guest speaker retired Lt. Roger Perrino, New York City Police Dept. gave his firsthand account of what happened at Ground Zero when he responded on his day off.
"I first heard about the attacks after I dropped my sons off at school," said Perrino. "When I reported, no one really knew what was going on, we all just thought it was an accident. So when the second plane hit we were all in shock."
Perrino recounted his tale of the events that took place and the horror, tragedy, and the selflessness of so many individuals coming together to help in the hours, days and months after the attack.
"It was amazing to see the whole country come together," said Perrino. "We had an avalanche response team come all the way from Montana to lend their expertise, because we weren't equipped to deal with something like that."
The presentation helped instill a sense of pride and honor in the Sailors and Marines in attendance.
"It gave me a big sense of pride and belonging," said Sgt. George Hurby, from Camp Pendleton, Calif. "To know that we are out here serving a purpose and to be reminded why we are needed out here so far from home is very sobering and reminds me why we do what we do."
Green Bay as part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group, along with Marines from the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, are underway in the U.S. 7th Fleet AOR during its maiden deployment.