Sept. 11, 2011 was a dark day in history like Pearl Harbor when more than 3,000 Americans died in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., said Tennessee Army National Guard Col. Mark Tyndall.
“All Americans felt a spectrum of emotions that day; shock turned to fear, fear turned to anger, anger turned to resolve, and resolve turned to justice,” Tyndall said. “I will never forget the overwhelming support and seeing American flags proudly displayed everywhere.”
Tyndall’s remarks came during a speech during the annual 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony Friday Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office.
In his remarks, Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh quoted President George W. Bush, who served as president on 9-11.
“One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11 … We pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.”
Tyndall was a young captain training in the U.S. Army’s Special Forces at Fort Bragg, N.C., when 9-11 happened. His lead instructor said words Tyndall will never forget, “Gentlemen, train hard and be ready, when you graduate this course, you’re going to war.”
He completed training and served during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He proudly served five deployments in Iraq and three deployments as a defense contractor in Afghanistan for 4.5 years in combat.
Tennessee National Guard was the fourth largest deploying state with 31,000 Tennesseans deployed since 9-11.
Twenty-two members of the Tennessee Army and Air National Guard “have paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country. We must endeavor to remember and honor them and by doing that, they shall never be forgotten. Ceremonies like today honor them so they won’t be forgotten,” Tyndall said.
He thanked sheriff’s deputies attending the ceremony who are National Guard soldiers for their service.
“The Tennessee National Guard is proud of our solid partnerships across Tennessee with all our first responders and agencies to make the great state of Tennessee more prepared and safer,” Tyndall said.
Today’s ceremony included patriotic songs performed by Riverdale Women’s Chorale and an “Echo Taps” performed by MTSU Trumpet Professor Michael Arndt and student Connor Prim.
Rolling Thunder raised a flag to remember prisoners of war and those veterans missing in action.
Honor guards from Murfreesboro Fire Rescue Department rang a bell remembering the victims and first responders who died on 9-11. Honor guards from Smyrna Police Department, Smyrna Fire Department, Rutherford County Emergency Medical Services and the Sheriff’s Office participated.