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Khobar Towers: Sacrifice of fallen heroes never forgotten

The Eglin Air Force Base Honor Guard presents the colors at the Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., June 24, 2016. The ceremony marked the 20th anniversary of the Khobar Towers terrorist attack, honored the 19 Airmen who lost their lives and paid tribute to the families and survivors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

The Eglin Air Force Base Honor Guard presents the colors at the Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony on Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., June 24, 2016. The ceremony marked the 20th anniversary of the Khobar Towers terrorist attack, honored the 19 Airmen who lost their lives and paid tribute to the families and survivors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Col. Lance Pilch, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, and retired Col. Doug Cochran, commander of the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron at the time of the Khobar Towers bombing, salute the Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony wreath June 24, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The 33rd FW hosted a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Khobar Towers terrorist attack to honor the 19 Airmen who lost their lives, 12 of which were Nomads, and pay tribute to the families and survivors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Col. Lance Pilch, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, and retired Col. Doug Cochran, commander of the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron at the time of the Khobar Towers bombing, salute the Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony wreath June 24, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The 33rd FW hosted a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Khobar Towers terrorist attack to honor the 19 Airmen who lost their lives, 12 of which were Nomads, and pay tribute to the families and survivors. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Dari Bradley, aunt of Airman 1st Class Joseph Rimkus, touches a portrait of him on the Khobar Towers Memorial wall June 24, 2016, after the a memorial ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Rimkus was a weapons load crewmember from the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron who lost his life as a result of the Khobar Towers bombing June 25, 1996. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Dari Bradley, aunt of Airman 1st Class Joseph Rimkus, touches a portrait of him on the Khobar Towers Memorial wall June 24, 2016, after the a memorial ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Rimkus was a weapons load crewmember from the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron who lost his life as a result of the Khobar Towers bombing June 25, 1996. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

A formation of F-35As perform the missing man formation during a flyover of the Khobar Towers Memorial wall at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., June 24, 2016. The missing man formation is an aircraft maneuver use to honor the dead or missing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

A formation of F-35As perform the missing man formation during a flyover of the Khobar Towers Memorial wall at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., June 24, 2016. The missing man formation is an aircraft maneuver use to honor the dead or missing. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Retired Col. Doug Cochran, commander of the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron at the time of the Khobar Towers bombing, reflects on his experience from the night of the Khobar Towers terrorist attack June 24, 2016, during the Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The June 25, 1996, bombing at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, resulted in more than 500 civilian and military casualties. The 33rd FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed on that day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Retired Col. Doug Cochran, commander of the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron at the time of the Khobar Towers bombing, reflects on his experience from the night of the Khobar Towers terrorist attack June 24, 2016, during the Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The June 25, 1996, bombing at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, resulted in more than 500 civilian and military casualties. The 33rd FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed on that day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Airmen from the 33rd Fighter Wing represent the 19 Airmen who lost their lives at the Khobar Towers terrorist attack 20 years ago during the Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony June 24, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The bombing at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, resulted in more than 500 civilian and military casualties. The 33rd FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed on that day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

Airmen from the 33rd Fighter Wing represent the 19 Airmen who lost their lives at the Khobar Towers terrorist attack 20 years ago during the Khobar Towers Memorial Ceremony June 24, 2016, at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The bombing at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, resulted in more than 500 civilian and military casualties. The 33rd FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed on that day. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Stormy Archer/Released)

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. --

The 33rd Fighter Wing hosted a ceremony commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Khobar Towers terrorist attack, June 24, 2016, at the Nomad Memorial Grounds, here.

 

The ceremony honored the 12 Nomads who lost their lives on June 25, 1996, and paid tribute to the families and survivors.

 

“This attack shook our nation to its core,” Col. Lance Pilch, 33rd Fighter Wing commander, said. “The effect of this terrorism ripples through us even today as we reflect on who these Airmen could have been, were they still alive today.”

 

The bombing at Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, resulted in more than 500 civilian and military casualties. The 33rd FW suffered 105 wounded personnel and accounted for 12 of the 19 Airmen killed on that day.

 

“Twenty years, in some respects, seems like an eternity, but there are times when it seems like 20 days because our memory of that tragic night is still so clear,” said retired Col. Doug Cochran, 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron commander at the time of the attack. “The sting of loss fades somewhat over time, but the memories of our fallen heroes and their sacrifice remains vivid.”

 

The ceremony consisted of a wreath laying, recitation of the names of the victims, playing of Taps, the first flyover in a Missing Man formation for the F-35A.

 

“The memory of these heroes taken and those who live on ignite in us a firm resolve to honor their sacrifice,” Pilch said. “These Airmen did not falter to answer the call to serve our nation and their legacy lives on in their brothers and sisters-in-arms. Today’s Nomads who carry the torch forward still fight and still serve our nation with fire from the clouds.”

 

The names of the fallen are:

From Eglin Air Force Base

Tech. Sgt. Daniel Cafourek

Sgt. Millard Campbell

Senior Airman Earl Cartrette, Jr.

Tech. Sgt. Patrick Fennig

Master Sgt. Kendall Kitson, Jr.

Airman 1st Class Brent Marthaler

Airman 1st Class Brian McVeigh

Tech. Sgt. Thanh Gus Nguyen

Senior Airman Jeremy Taylor

Airman 1st Class Peter Morgera

Airman 1st Class Joseph Rimkus

Airman 1st Class Joshua Woody

From Patrick AFB

Capt. Christopher Adams

Capt. Leland Haun

Master Sgt. Michael Heiser

Staff Sgt. Kevin Johnson

Airman 1st Class Justin Wood

From Offutt AFB

Staff Sgt. Ronald King

From Wright-Patterson AFB

Airman 1st Class Christopher Lester

 

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