Team Dover remembers: 20th anniversary of 9/11
By Roland Balik, 436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
/ Published September 13, 2021
DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Team Dover commemorated the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 with a ruck march and a remembrance ceremony.
Beginning at 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 10, members of Team Dover rucked or ran at the base track for just over a 24-hour period, before a procession of first response vehicles made their way to the Air Mobility Command Museum for the 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony.
During the ruck march, members paused at key points in time to honor when each of the four hijacked aircraft made impact on 9/11.
Retired Air Force Reserve Master Sgt. Tyree Bacon, who was one of 20 New York State court officers who responded to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, was the guest speaker for the remembrance ceremony and recounted how saving one person, ended up saving himself.
“She was on the 78th floor of Tower 2 when the second plane hit,” Bacon said of Doris Torres. “This is when she sustained serious injuries; burns over 53 percent of her body. Miraculously, she made it to the mall area. At this point she could go no further and this is when our life-changing chance encounter began. I came upon her with three New York State court officers. A quick triage was done and it was determined that Ms. Torres’ injuries were critical and she needed to be evacuated immediately. I put her on a stair chair and I removed her without delay. Within seconds Tower 2 collapsed.”
Being blown over 100 feet away into total darkness and unable to breath, Bacon was able to maintain physical contact with Torres just feet outside the collapse zone.
“Doris gave me the strength and motivation to press on to get her to a triage area. If not for her, I would have curled up in a fetal position and waited to die,” he said.
The three other court officers that went into Tower 2 with Bacon did not survive.
“I would like to take the time to remind everybody that 9/11 is not just an event that happened 20 years ago, that this seems to live on for some of us,” Bacon said. “Some of us bear the wounds and scars from that day.”
Bacon added praise to the military as they continue the battle against worldwide terrorism.
“You have stood watch since that day, deployed countless months away from family and friends,” he said. “All of this so we can sleep peacefully under the blanket of freedom that some may never fully appreciate. This is some of the best our nation has to offer and this is what makes the United States of America the greatest nation in the world.”
During the ceremony, the security forces and emergency medical technician prayers were recited, as well as a “Striking the Four Fives” performance, all three in remembrance of those first responders who died on 9/11.
“The fire service is rich with ceremony, customs and tradition,” said Staff Sgt. Sulaiman Burns, 436th Civil Engineer Squadron fire department crew chief and ceremony narrator. “This custom of rendering final honors has its origin in the fire department of the city of New York.”
A C-5M Super Galaxy, piloted by aircrew from the 9th Airlift Squadron, also performed a flyover of the ceremony, which was attended by base, City of Dover Fire Department and distinguished Delaware personnel.