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Stories of 9/11 Service from our U.S. Navy Family

By Jason Kelly
U.S. Navy Office of Information

As we approached the 15th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we asked members of our Navy family to share their memories on our Facebook page. When we published this blog, more than 1,000 comments were posted… too many to share here.

As we selected some of those memories, a common theme emerged – stories of service from a generation that was too young to serve on that day, but who became our Nation’s “9/11 Generation” that honored the fallen by protecting and defending America today – 15 years after 9/11.

These are their stories. After reading them, share your own story in the comments at the end of this blog to never forget.

Sherry
My son came home from his 3rd day of Kindergarten that day and said “I’m gonna fight those bad guys when I get big Mom!” He is now an MA3 in the world’s finest Navy!

Cherry
Both of my sons, ages 14 & 11, respectively on 9/11, chose to go to the Virginia Military Institute after high school. The older one commissioned into the Air Force & the younger one is a LtJG serving on a submarine in the US Navy. So proud of their commitment & desire to serve.

NEW YORK (Sept. 15, 2001) A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center. (U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres/Released)
NEW YORK (Sept. 15, 2001) A New York City fireman calls for 10 more rescue workers to make their way into the rubble of the World Trade Center. (U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres/Released)

Katrina
My son was 13, and together we watched the second tower fall on live television in our living room. He really got serious after 9/11, paid a lot more attention in school and ended up with a nomination letter and graduating from USNA. He is now a LT and a helo pilot, getting ready for his second deployment. So proud of all the young women and men he serves with, many of whom have the same story.

Karen
In 2001 my son was in preschool, when everything went down on 9/11 he was aware that there was something very bad happening. He always loved his country, always loved the military and in March of this year he left for bootcamp. Today he is a submarine machinist mate in the US Navy. I am so very proud of him and our Navy.

NEW YORK (Sept. 14, 2001) New York City firemen walk past the American flag as they work their way toward the heart of the devastation that was once the World Trade Center. (U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres/RELEASED)
NEW YORK (Sept. 14, 2001) New York City firemen walk past the American flag as they work their way toward the heart of the devastation that was once the World Trade Center. (U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Preston Keres/RELEASED)

Marybeth
My son was 11 and a few days after the attack he told me he was willing to die for his country. Next week is his CPO pinning ceremony.

Cherie
My son joined after 911…after he graduated high school….it changed our life forever……he did 2 tours with the Marines as their Corpsman…he’s never been the same….that day changed our life’s forever…we are honored to have him serve in the United States Navy as a Corpsman…we have the utmost respect for what the military does for this country on a daily basis all over the world and for everyone that’s serving and, who has served.

ARLINGTON, Va. (Sep. 11, 2001) Wreckage from the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 sits on the west lawn of the Pentagon minutes after terrorists crashed the aircraft into southwest corner of the building. (U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Mark D. Faram/Released)
ARLINGTON, Va. (Sep. 11, 2001) Wreckage from the hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 sits on the west lawn of the Pentagon minutes after terrorists crashed the aircraft into southwest corner of the building. (U.S. Navy Photo by Journalist 1st Class Mark D. Faram/Released)

Alan
It’s amazing you asked. I was chatting with one of my friends on my way home. On Sept 11 I was still at home living in NYC. The folks working in the twin towers I felt for them like they were my own, and I still do, which is one of the reasons why I was motivated to join the U.S. Navy. On that day I saw NYC come to almost a complete stop, however as a nation we are and always will remain STRONG.

Barbra
I was 23, my son was 5 months old. I had just finished Med Cruise 2000. I was on shore duty at Naval Air Station Norfolk VA. We had just finished our morning Muster when our crew were called inside to be told that that the first plane had hit the first of the twin Towers. We continued to watch the 32″ TV when we saw the second plane hit. Our hearts sank. So many shipmates we served with Aboard USS Eisenhower were on leave that week. Sadness, horror, confusion and shock became so big, so overwhelming for all of us. The base was on lock down for three days. I was a long three days. But we had a duty to stand our ground to protect our base.
#911NeverForgotten 😟 Every year I feel that same heaviness I felt that day, so many peoples lives were taken, affected, contributed, memorialized. Loved. Ill never forget. Never.

ARLINGTON, Va. (Sep. 14, 2001) Aerial view of the destruction caused when a high-jacked commercial jet crashed into the Pentagon on Sep. 11th. (U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of DoD Photographer Tech. Sgt. Cedric H. Rudisill/Released)
ARLINGTON, Va. (Sep. 14, 2001) Aerial view of the destruction caused when a high-jacked commercial jet crashed into the Pentagon on Sep. 11th. (U.S. Navy Photo courtesy of DoD Photographer Tech. Sgt. Cedric H. Rudisill/Released)

Lizette
My mother, Saraid walked with the soot from the tragedy from Manhattan to Brooklyn. This will always be a very difficult day for her and I will forever be grateful that she was physically unharmed on that day, however I know the psychological scars she will have to carry forever, i love you mom and you are always in my heart. Now I get to say my son has joined the greatest navy in the world

Melissa
My girl was 6, she knew it was terrible. When she was 8, I had a friend serving, she had her class adopt him and send care packages while he was deployed. He was a psychologist for the AF, we met neighbors who were navy corpsman and she soon joined the Sea Cadets. She knew from 6th grade she wanted to serve in the Navy after 9/11, today she is saving lives overseas as a surgical tech corpsman. I couldn’t be prouder, she gave up a full ride to Norwich just so she could be a corpsman and is currently seeking her bachelors in Education to teach medical after her career in the Navy.

Share your story in the comments below to never forget.

ARLINGTON, Va. (Sep. 11, 2014) Dawn at the Pentagon Memorial prior to a ceremony to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by Damon J. Moritz/Released)
ARLINGTON, Va. (Sep. 11, 2014) Dawn at the Pentagon Memorial prior to a ceremony to commemorate the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon. (U.S. Navy photo by Damon J. Moritz/Released)

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