Air Commandos and dependents run together during a 9.11 mile trek at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Sept. 11, 2012. The run was held in honor of those who lost their lives during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Xavier Lockley)
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Anthony Figiera, 27th Special Operations Civil Engineering Squadron commander, runs during the 9.11 mile run at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Sept. 11, 2012. The 9.11 mile trek was held in honor of those who lost their lives during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Xavier Lockley)
U.S. Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Steven Dowdy, 16th Special Operations Squadron Operations superintendent, races to the finish line against Master Sgt. Ernest Revell, 16 SOS first sergeant, during a 9.11 mile run at Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., Sept. 11, 2012. The run was held in honor of those who lost their lives during the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Xavier Lockley)
by Senior Airman Whitney Tucker
27th Special Operations Squadron Public Affairs
9/6/2012 - CANNON AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. -- When 200,000 tons of steel fell from the sky on Sept. 11, 2001 trapping thousands of New Yorkers beneath the smoldering remains of what had once been the beating heart of the American dream, a generation learned the true meaning of loss; loss of a loved one, loss of peace of mind and the loss of a symbol.
In its place rose another, more resilient than any structure, untouchable by any enemy and growing in strength with each passing day. It was in this spirit of infallible unity that members of Cannon Air Force Base, N.M., gathered at the base fitness center Sept. 11, 2012 to complete a run in honor of the dreams, ideals and lives lost on that fateful day 11 years ago.
"This run is to remember the sacrifices made by our comrades in arms since 9/11 and the first responders that led the charge in New York, Washington, D.C., and the fields of Pennsylvania," said Chief Master Sgt. Lee Beausoleil, 27th Special Operations Security Forces Squadron superintendent.
The 9.11 mile memorial run provided an opportunity for Airmen to reflect on the act that catapulted a peaceful nation into war and stole the breath from more than 2,500 daughters, sons, fathers and mothers.
"Having enlisted long before 9/11 I remember when the world was a relatively safe place," Beausoleil said. "Now, there are entities or individuals who have no regard for their actions and this has created shockwaves across every industry and segment of society."
The events of that September day will live in infamy for this, and generations to come. But while the enemy sought to destroy the identity of a nation, this tragedy has also come to serve as a testament to the ability of the human spirit to endure and overcome.
"When I address our younger Airmen in the professional development forums, I remind them that they joined the Air Force when the nation was at war," Beausoleil said, "a very noble profession that few answer the call. It is their moment in history to make a difference and I'm proud to be a part of this moment with them. Today's run gives us the opportunity to reflect and remember why we do what we do."