KINGS POINT, NEW YORK, September 11, 2018 – Today, the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) hosted a brief ceremony to remember and honor the first responders and victims of the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11, 2001.
During the ceremony, the Regiment of Midshipmen stood and saluted as the flag was lowered to half-staff. Command Chaplain, LCDR David Pahs opened with a prayer. “Lord, we mourn and we grieve with all the families, everywhere, who have been touched by this great evil – especially on this day,” said Pahs. “We ask that you bring comfort and reassurance to those who lost family and friends, just across the water in New York, and at the Pentagon, and in that open field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.” He added, “Today, we remember the courage of the first responders who rushed into danger to save lives, ultimately sacrificing their own. We remember the bold men of flight 93 who refused to sit passively in the face of evil, and Lord, we remember all those warriors who have answered our Nations call to challenge evil at its roots in Iraq and Afghanistan and throughout the world.”
Afterward, USMMA’s Director of External and Congressional Affairs, Mr. George Rhynedance, shared his experiences, as an Army lieutenant colonel serving at the Pentagon when it was struck by AA Flight 77, and in New York, at ground zero, in the days that followed. When speaking of the attack on the Pentagon he said, “ I was amazed at how quiet it was. Then somebody said, ‘get out!’ and we did. We went out into the hallway in into the corridors. It was there that some of my leadership training really came to light. After being in the service for over 20 years, I knew that leaders are present and leaders lead from the front. When we got to the end of the hallway, we had two choices – to turn right to safety, or we could turn left and go towards the fire,” said Rhynedance. “I turned left and went towards the fire and I looked over my shoulder. I was amazed by the number of soldiers and civilians who were moving toward the sound of the strike, just as I was.“
The Regiment of Midshipmen continued with other remembrances throughout the day. They are keeping a 24-hour watch near a fire truck parked on Barney Square, in honor of the victims and first responders. They sounded a siren at intervals that coincide with the timeline of September 11th, 2001.
- 0846 - AA Flight 11 crashes into North Tower of One World Trade Center, NYC
- 0903 - UA Flight 175 crashes into South Tower of One World Trade Center, NYC
- 0937 - AA Flight 77 crashes into the Western Facade of the Pentagon, DC
- 0959 - South Tower of the World Trade Center collapses
- 1007 - UA Flight 93 crashes in Somerset County Pennsylvania
- 1028 - North Tower of the World Trade Center collapses
During lunch Midshipmen shared the Presidential Proclamation for Patriot Day 2018.
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, N.Y, educates and graduates leaders of exemplary character who are inspired to serve the national security, marine transportation, and economic needs of the United States as licensed Merchant Marine Officers and commissioned officers in the Armed Forces. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the Merchant Marine Academy. The Academy, which was established under the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, was dedicated as the United States Merchant Marine Academy in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It is administered by the Maritime Administration under the auspices of the Department of Transportation.