Fort Riley Post – September 20, 2013
Firefighters sat in a place of honor on Sept. 11 during Fort Riley’s 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony. One firefighter among those in attendance served in the Fire Department City of New York on Squad 41 in South Bronx on 9/11.
“It was the longest day of my life, and it was the shortest day of my life. It was all a blur, yet I can remember everything,” said Scott Schrimpe, retired FDNY firefighter.
Schrimpe said he had a tough time after Sept. 11, 2001. He struggled with survivor’s guilt and post-traumatic stress disorder. Now Schrimpe helps give tours for the memorial at ground zero.
“Life is precious; appreciate every day,” Schrimpe said.
Schrimpe attended the Fort Riley ceremony while making a series of stops to escort pieces of the World Trade Center to their final resting places in Kansas City and Utah.
Fort Riley’s annual ceremony honored lives lost on 9/11 and highlighted the men and women from Fort Riley who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the Global War on Terrorism.
Families of those heroes sat in the audience as Maj. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general, 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley, addressed those in attendance.
Funk spoke of the great character of Americans and of the heroes at Fort Riley.
“Our ability to remain resilient and unified in time of need has enabled our country to always adapt to adversity,” Funk said.
One father who attended spoke of his son, who was killed in action, and the legacy his son’s death leaves behind.
“His legacy is that he’s made the world a better place,” said Myron Zorn, Wright, Wyo.
Myron Zorn’s son, Staff Sgt. Ryan Zorn was killed in action Nov. 16 2009, while serving in Iraq with the 1st Infantry Division. It was his third tour of duty in Iraq.
Zorn’s parents Myron and Joann both spoke of the great support they receive from the Army since their son’s death.
“He changed the world,” Myron Zorn said of his son, “He did a lot of good things we didn’t even know about.”
Ryan Zorn’s name is among those listed on the Global War on Terrorism monument that served as the backdrop for the ceremony.
The monument is a small replica of the twin towers on a pentagon-shaped base. It bears the names of Fort Riley Soldiers who have given their lives in Afghanistan and Iraq.
At this year’s ceremony, four names were added to the monument, bringing the total number of Soldiers honored on the monument to 208.
The new heroes whose names were revealed at the ceremony are Capt. James D. Nehl, Staff Sgt. Matthew H. Stiltz, Sgt. Joseph A. Richardson and Sgt. Channing B. Hicks.
By Jessica Healey 1st Inf. Div. Post