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Tragedy remembered, one year later

Nov. 5, 2010

Events scheduled to memorialize Fort Hood fallen

Jed Dean/Lariat File Photo
A soldier leaves as President Barack Obama speaks at a memorial ceremony on Nov. 10, 2009,e about those killed in the Fort Hood shootings the previous week.

By Meghan Hendrickson
Staff Writer

This weekend Fort Hood is hosting a series of commemorative events in honor of the one-year anniversary of the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting that killed 13 people.

"The Fort Hood community will be celebrating service and sacrifice on Nov. 5 and 6, beginning with a day of remembrance on the fifth," said Tyler Broadway, media relations specialist of the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office.

Last year, Maj. Nidal Hasan, an Army psychiatrist and American-born Muslim, opened fire in a crowded waiting area where soldiers were getting vaccines and other tests. Witnesses said he rapidly fired at soldiers hiding under desks and those fleeing the building. When it was over, 13 people were killed and dozens were wounded.

Broadway said the ceremony today will provide an opportunity to pay tribute to the fallen. He said that members of Fort Hood have experienced a tremendous outpouring of love from Central Texas and the nation as a whole, and he believes it to be of utmost importance to take the time to reflect on what happened.

"With Friday being the actual anniversary of the shootings, that's really the more somber portion of what we're doing to recognize the one-year anniversary of the shooting," said Lt. Col. Chad Carroll, public affairs officer for the 1st Cavalry Division at Fort Hood. "We're going to focus on those killed and injured on that day as we observe a moment of silence and pause to think about their memory."

Following the remembrance ceremony, there will also be an awards ceremony to recognize almost 70 soldiers and civilians whose actions went above and beyond the call of duty a year ago as they served the Fort Hood community during the shooting.

The memorial activities will continue at 8 a.m. on Saturday with a half marathon of 13.1 miles, a five kilometer walk/run, and a one-mile fun walk. The event, "Run to Remember" is not only in remembrance of the 13 killed, but also the more than 550 Fort Hood soldiers who have been killed in action in the past nine years in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"It's an important mark in the history of Fort Hood and Central Texas where we should pause and reflect," Broadway said. "It's an opportunity to connect spiritually and bring the community back together."

Beginning at noon, Fort Hood will host "Rock the Hood", an all-day concert filled with free carnival rides, arts and crafts, food and more.

"Saturday will be the day of commemoration and celebration, and 'Rock the Hood' is a way to do something uplifting," Broadway said.

Two stages will host live musical artists throughout the day, including Rhema, Malford Milligan, Rev Theory, Los CAValleros, Elvis Crespo, Flyleaf, Lance Wade Thomas, Chris Cagle, 7 Years Today, Puddle of Mudd and the rapper Nas, who will close the event.

"I believe it is an appropriate set of events this weekend for not just family, but the entire Fort Hood community," Carroll said. "A lot of people were touched by this, certainly the family and friends of those that were hurt or killed. As a community we can all come together and demonstrate our support for one another as we use the one-year anniversary of the event to renew our focus on the healing that has gone on and will continue to go on for a while."

In the midst of all of the activities that are planned for the weekend, Steven Moore, community relations specialist for the Fort Hood Public Affairs Office, said he is looking forward to one in particular.

"I think all of the events have some type of significance, but I think the Friday morning memorial will be significantly memorable," Moore said. "When the families come, and the people involved in the shooting, and all those folks will be there -- I think it's going to bring closure for a lot of people to reflect on that day."

Remembrance is a key theme to the weekend, Broadway said.

"It's extremely important that folks will never forget," he said.

Hasan, now paralyzed from the chest down from being shot that day, is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder. His hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to send him to trial will continue later this month.