BILOXI, Miss. (NNS) -- Sailors stationed at the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training Unit (CNATTU) Keesler held a 9/11 commemoration ceremony at the Keesler Air Force Base headquarters flagpole aboard Keesler Air Force Base, Mississippi, Sept. 11.
The ceremony, organized by the CNATTU Keesler Chief Petty Officer (CPO) selectees and under the supervision of the CNATTU Keesler Chiefs Mess, was designed to provide attendees a gathering and focal point to pay respect to the nearly 3,000 individuals killed and more than 6,000 injured during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on American soil.
“Some of the students attending classes here were not even school-aged children at the time the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City happened,” said CNATTU Keesler Chief Aerographer’s Mate Michael Giardini. “Part of our responsibility in training Sailors and Marines in the jobs they will perform is teaching them heritage and honoring those who served and sacrificed before us. Ceremonies such as this educate these young men and women, and serve as a reminder to all of us why we make the continued sacrifices every day in service of our country.”
The 9/11 remembrance ceremony was incorporated this year into the six-week, Navywide training program for petty officers first class selected for advancement to CPO, known as CPO initiation - a process designed to foster teamwork, resilience and hone leadership skills. Under the guidance of the CNATTU Keesler Chiefs Mess, the five CNATTU Keesler CPO selectees are joining thousands of other CPO selectees throughout the Navy in the traditional training program.
During the ceremony, Keesler Sailors, Marines, and Airmen stood in formation while CPO selectees presented detailed readings of what happened on Sept. 11, 2001. The students and staff then affixed names of people they personally knew who were affected by the attacks to a commemorative wreath placed at the base of the flagpole.
Ceremony participants also presented a timeline of that day’s events, as well as performed a flag ceremony designed to honor not only the service members who lost their lives during the tragic event, but the first responders and civilians who also died.
“We remember all those who were lost, and our hearts are with the families of those who suffered so much," said ceremony participant Electronics Technician 1st Class Dennis Toups.
CNATTU Keesler trains service members in the electronic calibration of afloat and aviation equipment, meteorological and oceanographic observing and forecasting and the maintenance and repair of meteorological equipment.
CNATTU Keesler is a training unit of the Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. CNATT develops, delivers, and supports aviation technical training at 28 sites located throughout the continental United States and Japan under Naval Education and Training Command.
For more news from Center for Naval Aviation Technical Training, visit www.navy.mil/local/cnatt/.