September 11th of this year marked the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks against the United States. The 9/11 Freedom Walk & Program, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, honored those impacted by the attacks. The events of the day included patriotic music performed by the CBU Male Chorale and the 3D Marine Aircraft Wing Band, the March on of Colors, an Invocation, and a flyover of three vintage airplanes. Three American heroes spoke during the evening program prior to the walk, also highlighting how the nation has moved forward since 9/11.
Addressing the crowd of approximately 2,000 people was Rear Admiral Robert Girrier of the USS Ronald Reagan Strike Group, who had just returned the prior evening from a 7 month deployment in Iraq. Next up, Lt. John McCole, a New York City firefighter who worked the World Trade Center rescue mission, spoke of his 9/11 experiences, which will never be forgotten. The third and final speaker, Lt. Colonel Tim Karcher, is an American Hero and Wounded Warrior. Lt. Colonel Karcher, was wounded twice in Iraq, the second time resulting in the loss of both his legs. Despite his loss, LTC Karcher is undeterred in his passion to serve his country, and his devotion to his family. “I can tell you that I am married to a heroine and our three daughters are incredibly courageous and strong,” Karcher said. He went on to remind us, “Let us never forget the tragedy, but let us also rekindle our patriotism and resilience that we felt that dark day 10 years ago.”
Following a musical tribute to each branch of military service, participants walked down the library driveway 1.8 miles to a nearby park, where refreshments were served and there was a celebration of freedom. A number of Amgen staff members chose to observe the day at the 9/11 Freedom Walk & Program. Debbie Gregory of MilitaryConnection.com and John Huebusch, Director of the Reagan Library, hosted a dinner party under Air Force One that was attended by several dozen Amgen employees. “It was my great honor to attend this year’s event with both family and Amgen peers. The program allowed for children, adults and corporations to come together as a community in a meaningful and memorable way”, said Farryn Melton, VP Sourcing for Amgen.