HomeNewsNews Display
  • 14
  • Sep
  • 2015
Pause in training: Benin, U.S. remember 9/11

By Staff Sgt. Bryan Peterson, Marine Corps Forces Africa

COTONOU, Benin -- Benin National Surveillance Police commemorated the 14th anniversary of 9/11 with U.S. Marines and sailors at the National Police Academy in Cotonou, Benin.

The Marines and sailors with Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response-Africa are in Benin for a month-long training mission with the NSP to help counter illicit trafficking along the country’s borders.

During a break in the training, NPS students stood alongside Marines and sailors in formation for a brief ceremony to remember the day when nearly 3,000 lives perished from the heinous terrorist attack.

The ceremony began with the playing of taps, followed by three smoke cans, releasing colors of the Benin flag, symbolizing the partnership between the U.S. and Benin.

National Surveillance Police Commissioner Didier Atchou wanted the Marines and sailors to know they are in “all of Benin’s hearts and thoughts,” on this day.

“Through this small ceremony, the Beninese police wanted to remember the people who died on Sept. 11,” said Atchou. “Today, we show our solidarity with the U.S. and the noble cause of fighting terrorism, wherever it may be.”

Cpl. Richard Mcaullife, the primary instructor for SPMAGTF-CR-AF Benin team, said Benin’s kind gesture is a testament to the relationship they have.

“This was a great moment we shared together, today,” said Mcaullife. “The fact that they had us stop training to show us how they are thinking about us means a lot. This shows we are like minded in the sense that we are in the fight against terrorism together.”