Fort Hood Massacre Remembered A Year Later
There are few moments throughout history that carry with them the ability to shoot a strong sense of shock through people’s veins. Many people know exactly where they were when hijacked planes ripped through the World Trade Center in New York City on 9-11. A comparable feeling occurred like déjà vu for soldiers and their families on Nov. 5, 2009.
Central Texas is asking the nation to join them in remembering that day with a series of events at Fort Hood, Texas, a military base dubbed “The Great Place.”
“This week, Fort Hood and Central Texas will honor those lost and recognize the heroic efforts of so many who acted with courage, compassion and selflessness during the tragedy and its aftermath. In doing so, we will continue to grow stronger, both individually and as a community,” said Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, the III Corps commander in a published letter to the community. “The Fort Hood family has weathered this tragedy together, and it is only appropriate that you should come together again, one year later, at these Fort Hood ceremonies. I encourage all to share in this remembrance.”
There was an awards ceremony held at Fort Hood this morning to recognize 54 soldiers and civilians whose actions amid the bullet-flying chaos at the Soldier Readiness Center went “above and beyond the call of duty.”
Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Casey and Army Secretary John McHugh presented awards to the more than 50 heroes, including two police officers who first responded to the scene, Police Sgts. Kimberly Munley and Mark Todd, Sr.
U.S. Army Capt. John Gaffaney, a psychiatric nurse who worked for San Diego County, Calif., received the soldier’s medal posthumously. He was fatally shot.
“It’s a chapter in this Army that no matter how many tears may fall will never, ever be washed away and will be a part of our history forever," McHugh told about 1,000 people in attendance, CBS News reported.
There was also a memorial service to pay tribute to the 13 people who lost their lives at the guns of Maj. Nidal Hasan.
The family members of the fallen soldiers and emergency personnel attended the two ceremonies. This is the first time for many to come together and remember the day that Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, allegedly opened fire on an unsuspecting group of deploying soldiers, and the heroism that consequently followed.
According to a Fort Hood release, Hasan is charged with 13 specifications of premeditated murder and 32 specifications of attempted premeditated murder.
On Oct. 21, the prosecution concluded with its last three of 56 witness testimoniesin the Article 32 hearing for Husan, a proceeding under the United State Code of Military Justice similar to that of a preliminary hearing in civilian law. The hearing is adjourned until Nov. 15, when the defense will have an opportunity to present evidence and testimonies.
For now, the Fort Hood community continues to heal.
“Every day is progress for me, and things are getting better day by day,” Munley, 35, who was hit by three bullets told The Guardian days after the shooting. “And emotionally, I'm just hoping that the rest of the officers and the injured and the families of the deceased are healing as well.”
In contrast to the somberness of the ceremonies that took place today, there are also two celebratory events scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 6 - the “Run to Remember” and the “Rock the Hood” festival.
The “Run to Remember” is a series of running events that is open to the public ranging from a one-mile fun run to a 13.1-mile half marathon and the “Rock the Hood” is a festival that will have food, carnival rides, and live performances.
The community festival will be hosting Puddle of Mudd, Elvis Crespo, Flyleaf, Chris Cagle and Nas, in the military base’s Sadowski Field.For more information click here.
Reach Reporter Jeffrey Ledesma here.