RICHMOND, Virginia, Sept. 11, 2015 —
Defense Logistics Agency Installation Support at Richmond, Virginia held a 9-11 Remembrance Ceremony on the lawn of the DLA Aviation Headquarters Building on Defense Supply Center Richmond Sept. 11, 2015. The keynote speaker was DLA Aviation Deputy Commander Charlie Lilli. Chesterfield County Fire and Emergency Services also participated in the event.
The ceremony began with the placing of helmets and hats on the fallen firefighter/police memorial table by an honor guard, comprised of police and fire officials from DLA Installation Support at Richmond. The singing of the National Anthem followed.
The invocation was given by U.S. Army Reserve 80th Training Command Chaplain, Maj. Steve Yarber and was followed by opening remarks by DLA Installation Support Site Director David Gibson.
Gibson spoke about the similarities of the weather, citing the fact that Sept. 11, 2001 was also a beautiful day.
When Lilli took the podium, he asked the audience to raise their hands if they remembered where they were on Sept. 11, 2001, saying most people can recall what they were doing on that tragic day.
Lilli also recalled the one year anniversary on Sept. 11, 2002, and how that sticks out in his mind.
“I was stationed at the Pentagon at the time and walking through a courtyard when I heard Alan Jackson’s song “Where Were You” sweeping through the cool autumn air,” Lilli said. “The music was not coming from a set of loud speakers, but rather from Alan Jackson himself. He was rehearsing for a live performance he was to give on a national news morning broadcast commemorating the anniversary of September 11.”
Lilli spoke about Jackson’s rehearsal. “As he continued to rehearse, I noticed the courtyard quickly filling up and before I knew it, there were at least a couple hundred people standing there,” he said.
“I realized at that moment that not since World War II has any one single event captivated and unified this country like the events of September 11, 2001. We came together, people from all walks of life, economic, religious, and educational backgrounds,” Lilli said. “We came together regardless of race, creed or color. We turned that terrible day into something positive for the nation.”
Lilli concluded his remarks saying, “Let us go back and relive that day, September 11, 2001, not for the unspeakable horrors that occurred, but to remember how we came together as a nation. Let our way of life be a constant reminder to the world that, 14 years later, we are standing stronger than ever.”
After Lilli’s remarks, DLA Installation Support at Richmond’s Police Capt. Julio Clavell explained the significance of the fallen firefighter/police memorial table, and recited “The Police Officer’s Prayer.” This was followed by “The Firefighter’s Prayer,” led by DLA Aviation Installation Support at Richmond Firefighter Ilia Kapitanov, and the ringing of the 5-5-5 bell, also known as the “Firefighter Farwell.”
The event concluded with DLA Installation Support at Richmond’s Chief of Engineering Services Dave Kolmer playing “Amazing Grace” on bagpipes as Lilli, Gibson and DLA Aviation Installation Support at Richmond’s Fire Chief Don Rodgers and Acting Police Chief Ray Hedrick laid a wreath at the flagpole in front of DLA Aviation Headquarters Building.