Will you forget?
By Staff Sgt. Gina M. Chiaverotti-Paige, 366th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 09, 2011
MOUNTAIN HOME AIR FORCE BASE, Idaho -- I was sitting in home economics class worrying about how I looked in my cheerleading uniform and who I was going to be sitting with at lunch as the cool breeze rolled through the windows on that September day. A loud squeak came from the public address system followed by silence. The principal stated with a shaky voice, "The World Trade Center has been hit by a plane. Please do not panic. We will provide more information as we hear more." I looked around the room at my fellow classmates to gage their expressions. I was 15 and had no clue what the World Trade Center was and neither did a majority of my peers. The teacher's eyes swelled up with tears as she turned on the television to watch the news. It was so horrific, yet I could not turn away. The images of empty smoke filled streets and the sounds of people yelling and screaming still haunt my memory. That night I slept on the floor of my parent's bedroom in fear of what tomorrow would bring.
This is my reflection of the tragic events that occurred on Sept. 11, 2001. Do you remember where you were?
Many times on any given day, I find the need to press the phone closer to my head and plug my other ear as the windows begin to rattle; anyone at a fighter base can tell you, this is the sound of freedom. Some may laugh, but it's the truth. It is with these multi-million dollar war fighting machines that we provide the most superior air power known to man.
I am proud to be a part of the Gunfighter history, which has provided a long line of support to the war on terror. Within months of the attacks, Gunfighters from the 366th Wing were downrange building a fully operational airfield. Personnel with the 34th Bomb Squadron deployed to Diego Garcia to provide B-1B Lancer support to the 28th Air Expeditionary Wing, while the 390th Fighter Squadron performed Noble Eagle missions to keep American soil safe. The fight continues today as the 389th Fighter Squadron completes its six-month deployment to Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.
From missing child births and first steps, to breathing in the smell of fresh cut grass and barbecue, our Gunfighters have made many sacrifices and spent millions of hours away to help keep our country safe. I ask that you take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices not only you have made, but the thousands of Gunfighters before you...and those who will come after. We will never forget.