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419th to honor 9/11 anniversary with flyovers across Utah

  • Published
  • 419th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, UtahThis Saturday, Air Force Reserve pilots from the 419th Fighter Wing will fly the F-35A Lightning II over local events honoring the 20th anniversary of 9/11.

Four F-35s will kick off the Brigham City Peach Days parade at 10 a.m. and later fly over the Utah Healing Field 9/11 Memorial in Sandy and the Dixie State vs. Weber State football game in St. George at approximately 7 p.m. and 8 p.m. respectively. Each event will feature solemn ceremonies that honor military members, veterans, first responders, and families who lost loved ones in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  

“9/11 is forever engraved into the minds of anyone old enough to remember,” said Col. Matthew Fritz, 419th FW commander. “But with each passing year the events of that day pass further into history and it’s up to us to keep the memory alive.”

The 419th FW played a vital role in the days following 9/11. While enforcing the no-fly zone over Iraq in support of Operation Southern Watch, the 419th was tasked to fly classified combat missions into Afghanistan.

The wing was also the first F-16 unit deployed in Operation Enduring Freedom and is credited with destroying terrorist assets and providing close-air support to ground troops. In the months and years following 9/11, 419th FW reservists continually deployed in support of OEF.

Fritz said Americans have a responsibility to remember the service and sacrifice surrounding the events of September 11, 2001, and these flyovers serve as a poignant reminder.

“Those who lost family members and friends have undoubtedly relived that horrific day over and over in their minds,” he said. “They will never be the same, and we owe it to them to remember.”  

Flying the jets will be Maj. James “Rhedd” Russell, Maj. Justin “Loco” Cleveland, Maj. Jevon “Moses” Yeretzian, and Maj. Daniel “Mental” Toftness.