FORT DRUM, N.Y. (WWTI) — The darkest day in U.S. history, September 11, 2001.

The day when a series of airline hijacking and terrorist attacks were committed on the World Trade Center in New York City and at the Pentagon in Virginia. The attacks resulted in the death of nearly 3,000 people.

On the 22nd Anniversary, the Fort Drum Military Base hosted a remembrance ceremony, where soldiers, local first responders and community members gathered to reflect.

Fort Drum Garrison Commander Colonel Matthew Meyer led the ceremony to explain how the day of tragedy changed the country.

“Never forget,” Colonel Meyer said. “These two words echo through our units, our community and the entire nation on a day that brings images, sounds and stories to the forefront of our minds. Two words that we say in reverence of our first responders, our soldiers and our citizens that perished that day.”

Colonel Meyer also reflected on the country’s response in the days after 9/11, when the global War on Terror began and the 10th Mountain Division was the first Army unit to fight.”

[September 12] was our response, our coming together, our ability to mourn and move forward, our ability to honor, our display or fortitude, our ability to be steadfast and the protection of freedom. The day after is worth remembering, year after year,” he expressed.

But, while surrounded by military and civilian first responders nearly two decades later, Col. Meyer brought the attention back to these heroes.

“The unknown of today leads me to respect the sacrifices of our first responders who volunteer for the unknown. The sacrifice that they are willing to make is the ultimate gesture of selflessness and service to us all,” he concluded.”