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45th Space Wing, local community remember 9/11

Guest speakers pose for a photo after unveiling a 9/11 dedication marker for the City of Rockledge, Florida, on Sept. 10, 2018, at the 3rd Annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony. Each speaker shared and recounted their memories of that day to an audience of nearly 250 guests. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt)

Guest speakers pose for a photo after unveiling a 9/11 dedication marker for the City of Rockledge, Florida, on Sept. 10, 2018, at the 3rd Annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony. Each speaker shared and recounted their memories of that day to an audience of nearly 250 guests. (U.S. Air Force photo/Heidi Hunt)

ROCKLEDGE, Fla. --

She had just left a staff meeting when she learned about the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States, while stationed at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware, the site of the Department of Defense’s largest port mortuary.

 

Shortly thereafter, Col. Gigi Simko, and her team, stood up the Medical Control Center and coordinated 24-hour manning for two weeks as human remains from the Pentagon started arriving by helicopter and refrigerated trucks. Personnel in the port mortuary attempted to describe what they saw, but it was something for which no one was fully prepared.

 

Seventeen years later, the 45th Medical Group commander recounted those same memories to an audience of nearly 250 guests at the 3rd Annual 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at Fire Station #37 in Rockledge, Florida, on Sept. 10, 2018.

 

As a keynote speaker, Simko spoke about the importance of remembering that our adversaries have not defeated us, nor will we let them.

“We remember. We will not let history be repeated. We will prevail,” said Simko.  

 

During the ceremony, they unveiled a 9/11 dedication memorial to honor and remember those who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001.

 

The night concluded with several local community members, law enforcement, fire and rescue teams, and civic leaders, who shared their memories about the importance of that day and what it meant to them.