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Team McConnell observes Patriot Day

First responders salute the American flag during a Patriot Day ceremony Sept. 11, 2014, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The ceremony was held in honor of the nearly 3,000 people who died during the 9/11 attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

First responders salute the American flag during a Patriot Day ceremony Sept. 11, 2014, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The ceremony was held in honor of the nearly 3,000 people who died during the 9/11 attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

Col. Joel Jackson, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander, addresses an audience during a Patriot Day ceremony Sept. 11, 2014, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The ceremony included a moment of silence and other military traditions such as a 21-Gun Salute and a Last Alarm Ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

Col. Joel Jackson, 22nd Air Refueling Wing commander, addresses an audience during a Patriot Day ceremony Sept. 11, 2014, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The ceremony included a moment of silence and other military traditions such as a 21-Gun Salute and a Last Alarm Ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

Airman 1st Class Victoria Claypool and Senior Airman John Sides, 22nd Air Refueling Wing honor guard, practice a retreat ceremony Sept. 11, 2014, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. They rehearsed for a Patriot day ceremony held later that day. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

Airman 1st Class Victoria Claypool and Senior Airman John Sides, 22nd Air Refueling Wing honor guard, practice a retreat ceremony Sept. 11, 2014, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. They rehearsed for a Patriot day ceremony held later that day. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

Airmen lower the American Flag during a Patriot Day ceremony Sept. 11, 2014, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The ceremony was held in honor of the nearly 3,000 people who died during the 9/11 attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

Airmen lower the American Flag during a Patriot Day ceremony Sept. 11, 2014, at McConnell Air Force Base, Kan. The ceremony was held in honor of the nearly 3,000 people who died during the 9/11 attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class John Linzmeier)

MCCONNELL AIR FORCE BASE, Kan. -- Team McConnell held a Patriot Day ceremony Sept. 11, 2014, in memory of the thousands of individuals who lost their lives as a result of the terrorist attacks against the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

Airmen gathered around the base flagpole to pay respect to the fallen and show their gratitude for the first responders.

1st Lt. Kevin Mount, 22nd Air Refueling Wing Chaplain Corps Team chaplain, opened the observance with an invocation.

"To all the brave men and women who answered their nation's call, we want to say thank you," he said. "Thank you for your selfless acts of service, honor and integrity. Thank you to all of those who gave themselves sacrificially and to those who gave all. You will always be in our hearts and thoughts forever."

The ceremony included a moment of silence and other military traditions such as a 21-Gun Salute, led by base honor guard, and a Last Alarm Ceremony, followed by a live bagpipe performance of Amazing Grace.

Patriot Day was observed in remembrance of the thousands of innocent lives lost during the attacks of 9/11, however, Col. Joel Jackson, 22nd ARW commander, brought to the attention of the crowd that it is also a time to reflect on the heroes who choose to help build a stronger future.

"While we honor the fallen, we must also look forward," he said. "All that have joined our military since 9/11 have done so fully aware of the wars we continue to wage. I am thankful to be surrounded by so many that have selflessly chosen to take on that challenge and to have a wing here at McConnell that continues to lead the way combating terrorism."

"I ask each of you to reflect on the enormity of the events on this Patriot Day, and rededicate yourselves to the tasks that lie ahead. Thank you."