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908th Airlift Wing remembers 9/11 with flyover

  • Published
  • By Maj. John T. Stamm
  • 908th Airlift Wing

Remembering the tragic events of Sept. 11, 2001, provides little cause to celebrate for the vast majority of United States citizens, including members of the Armed Forces.  Many face the day with somber reverence to the memory of all the victims and the heroes that sacrificed themselves that day (and for the 20 years since) so that others may live in peace and security.

The significance is not lost on the Airmen of the 908th Airlift Wing, who, despite continuing to conduct tactical airlift missions around the globe, made it a priority to execute a flyover of Braly Stadium, home to the University of North Alabama Lions.

“To see such a beautiful sight of your C-130 Hercules, lining up in a distance, coming directly behind and over the flagpole with the American Flag flying, with landing lights on, was the most incredible sight I've seen at a UNA football game,” said UNA alumnus and retired Army Col. Riley Brewer. “Many others have consented with my comment. I wish you could have heard the cheers and experienced the excitement that the 908th generated from the flyover.”

The flyover occurred during the UNA vs. the University of Tennessee Chattanooga Mocs pre-game festivities on the 20th anniversary of the infamous attacks, and showcased the support and solidarity the U.S. Air Force Reserve shares with our community partners. Brewer, who helped coordinate the event, embraces the partnership and thanked everyone from the 908th from the command staff to the aircrew for making the flyover possible.

“The 908th Airlift Wing played a huge part in making a day of remembrance and recognition successful,” he said. “We can't thank you enough for the sacrifices each Airman and family member makes to keep our country safe and secure.”

The aircraft and crew were at the end of a long day, having already transported several members of the 908th AW’s 25th Aerial Port Squadron to Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., for training. They re-routed their return to base over the residential section of Florence, Ala., home to the 130-acre campus. UNA Associate Athletic Director Ms. Megan L. Dye, who also helped coordinate the pre-game flyover, was impressed with the 908th’s demonstration of our commitment to U.S. citizens.

“Yesterday was such a memorable day for our community,” she said. “We are so very grateful for your efforts and support of our event. I have been at North Alabama for almost 10 years, and it was truly my favorite moment during my time here.”

The UTC Mocs defeated the UNA Lions by a score of 20-0.