Few people are considered heroic enough to have a Coast Guard cutter named in their honor. The Coast Guard held a ceremony on November 12 to announce two of its new Sentinel-Class Fast Response Cutters (FRCs).
With the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the War on Terror set in motion dramatic changes to the Coast Guard. Prior to the 9/11 attacks, U.S. ports, waterways, and coastlines were protected primarily by Coast Guard boat stations and cutters. Immediately following September 11, Coast Guard resources were reallocated to fill the additional maritime security functions required in a post-9/11 environment. A variety of new units, like the MSSTs and MSRTs, emerged as part of the Coast Guard’s greatest organizational transformation since World War II.
The 2001 terrorist attacks reshaped the Coast Guard, including new homeland security units, alterations in existing Coast Guard units and the transition to a new federal agency. The service’s response demonstrated its flexibility and relevance in the Coast Guard’s greatest transformation since World War II.
The Department of Homeland Security released a statement in honor of 9/11: “This year on September 11th, we pause to remember events that occurred fifteen years ago, events which prompted the formation of this Department. We continue to commemorate 9/11 and, at the same time, move forward.”
This might not be a story that you have heard before, but Coast Guard chaplains were at Ground Zero for 40 days following the attacks of September 11th. Chaplains from around the Coast Guard went to New York to support not only the influx of Coast Guard personnel who were aiding with the response and security, but also other local emergency workers as well as the victims’ families. This is the Chaplain of the Coast Guard’s remembrance of 9/11 and the days following, and the assistance that the Coast Guard Chaplains provided to those that needed it.
Coast Guard reservist Master Chief Petty Officer Will Gillis gives a recollection of his duties as a coxswain deployed to New York City after the 9/11 attacks. Gillis recalls the impact on those in New York, himself and his family after being deployed.
The harrowing events of Sept. 11, 2001, forever changed the United States as more than 3,000 Americans tragically lost their lives in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Despite those horrible events, many people acted heroically on that day and in the aftermath of the attacks. Today, we remember all those lost on 9/11, and thank all those who helped our nation become stronger and safer in the years since.
For 225 years, the Coast Guard has served as the nation’s lead Federal maritime law enforcement agency, protecting our shores each and every day. The Coast Guard also serves as one of the nation’s five armed forces, assisting in the defense of our nation during times of war.
The U.S. Coast Guard Flags Across America program, sponsored by the Washington, D.C., Chapter of the Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers Association, gathers on Sept. 11 each year to honor the 184 American patriots who gave their lives on 9/11 at the Pentagon. Sporting t-shirts with the motto, “Our heroes will not be forgotten,” the Flags Across America volunteers remembered American Airlines Flight 77, hijacked by terrorists on 11 September 2001 and crashed into the Pentagon after it took off from Washington Dulles International Airport.
To remember the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, a flag ceremony was performed. An unwavering American symbol, the vibrant red, white and blue colors stood out against the cloudy, gray sky as the flag detail team hoisted it up the pole. Capt. Gordon Loebl, commander, Coast Guard Sector New York, gave remarks on the significant role the Coast Guard plays on a daily basis to thwart terrorist activity and the positive impact of their response on that day.