FORT HOOD, TX — Tuesday marked the ten year anniversary of the deadliest shooting to ever unfold on a military post.
Former U.S. Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan went on a shooting rampage at the heart of the nation’s largest military installation, Fort Hood. He killed 13 people, as well as an unborn child. 32 more were injured in the attack.
Vowing never to forget those victims who died that day, the Central Texas community came together to pay tribute. Dozens of people, including victims' families and soldiers, came together to remember the 13 victims.
"It feels just like yesterday. 10 years just flew by so fast. This year means just so much more, so it's really special when ceremonies like this name the names of the people you lost,” said Shoua Her, the widow of fallen soldier PFC Kham See Xiong. She was one of several relatives to give personal accounts about their beloved family member whose life was cut senselessly short.
"I think it's important when you lose anyone to honor their legacy and never forget their names,” said Leila Hunt Willingham, sister of fallen soldier Specialist Jason Dean Hunt.
Former Killeen Mayor Timothy Hanckock was on post when chaos ensued. He has worked ever since to ensure no one forgets the sacrifice.
“Patriotism is unending if you love your country. If you love your city, if you love your state, then we need to remember that and help those that have lost their loved ones in the defense of the rest of us,” said Hancock.
The Fort Hood Memorial Pavilion served as a backdrop for the ceremonies. The memorial was designed by sculptor and artist Troy Kelley, a veteran from Salado. He donated his time and talent to make the memorial.
“We will remember. And here we are on the tenth anniversary, and we are remembering. It occurred, and hopefully future generations that we pass this memorial on to we will continue to remember,” said Kelley.
There are numerous stories from the day of the shooting that help keep the history preserved. Paul Schindler was a construction worker on post when the shooting unfolded.
“All of a sudden the sirens went off. We started hearing all this noise, and then we got rushed by MPs, and they told us to just drop your tool bags where we are and go to your construction trailer,” said Schindler. He was under lock down for six hours.
“We start looking out the window of the trailer. And as we looked out we started seeing bodies being brought out in cars, pickups, ambulances,” he said.
Thankfully, he made it off post unscathed.
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve driven past the fort hood gate and remembered that day. I can see a lot of it. It’s stuck in my mind,” said Schindler.