Soldier and Building 7 Survivor Remembered in Ceremony at Fort Detrick

The Frederick News Post ( is reporting that Sgt. 1st Class Joseph Wall, who succumbed to liver illness in 2003 has been honored in a ceremony at Fort Detrick in Maryland. Sgt. Wall had a 17-year career in the Army, had served "in Korea and Germany as well as serving on an elite team supporting the U.S. Secret Service."

Sgt. Wall had been suffering from liver disease, and according the article was told by doctors in December 2001 that he had two years left to live.

“In a ceremony Thursday, nearly 50 members of the 21st Signal Brigade at Fort Detrick and family members gathered to dedicate a conference room in the brigade headquarters in his memory."


Survived 9/11 Attacks - Was working in Building 7

“Wall joined the Army in 1985, at age 22, and came to the 21st Signal Brigade in 1997 to be part of the then- 1111th Signal Battalion at Raven Rock Mountain Complex in Pennsylvania, also known as Site R. The battalion, part of the 21st Signal Brigade, is now the 114th.”"

“Wall was selected to serve on the Army's Communications Management Support Team to provide protective communications support to the Secret Service.”

“On Sept. 11, 2001, he began the second day of a 30-day assignment at the World Trade Center in New York, working with three other soldiers to provide communications support for the Secret Service for an upcoming United Nations meeting.”

“After having breakfast that morning before the attacks, Wall returned briefly to his hotel room a block from the towers before heading to the day's first meeting.”

“While working in building 7, part of the center but not in the twin towers, terrorists struck. The towers' collapse destroyed the hotel Wall had just left.”

Continued...... Please see original article.


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8:30 a.m.: Preparations Underway in New York for UN General Assembly

“Preparations are underway in New York City for the upcoming meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. [US Congress, 4/23/2002] The Secret Service has an additional 100 employees in the city for this event. [PCCW Newsletter, 3/2006] Four communications soldiers from the 1108th Signal Brigade are also temporarily assigned to New York to support the Secret Service. [Fort Detrick Standard, 10/18/2001] Presumably, the specific event being prepared for is the General Assembly’s annual gathering of world leaders, scheduled for September 24 to October 5, which President Bush is due to address on September 24. [Reuters, 9/12/2001; Associated Press, 10/29/2001] For example, one report says Secret Service Officer Craig Miller is in New York today “to do advance security work for President Bush’s then upcoming visit to the United Nations General Assembly.” [American Rifleman, 2/2002; United States Secret Service, 4/29/2002 pdf file] The General Assembly is designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE). [New York Times, 11/10/2001; US Congress, 7/9/2002; US Department of Homeland Security, 7/9/2003] Since 1998, the National Security Council has been authorized to designate important upcoming events as NSSEs (see May 22, 1998), which puts the Secret Service in charge of the planning and implementation of security. [United States Secret Service, n.d.] It is unclear whether the UN General Assembly received NSSE status prior to 9/11, or is later designated as an NSSE due to the attacks. However, the UN’s previous ‘Millennium Summit’ in New York in September 2000 was an NSSE. [US Department of the Treasury, 2000, pp. 177 pdf file; US Congress, 6/29/2000; White House, 1/10/2002] And in 2003, Secret Service Director Ralph Basham states: “Each year, the UNGA [United Nations General Assembly] is a manpower and resource intensive effort for the Secret Service.” [US Congress, 5/1/2003] So it seems likely that it was designated as an NSSE before 9/11. There are questions about how preparations for an NSSE could have affected security in New York. The Secret Service says it conducts a “tremendous amount of advance planning and coordination” for NSSEs, involving a “variety of training initiatives,” which include, “simulated attacks and medical emergencies.” [United States Secret Service, n.d.] Furthermore, former FBI Director Louis Freeh will later tell the 9/11 Commission that in 2000 and 2001, the use of airplanes by terrorists in suicide missions “was part of the planning” for NSSEs. [9/11 Commission, 4/13/2004] Whether any such preparations are taking place in New York on or around 9/11 is unknown. The Secret Service is also mandated to create capabilities for achieving “airspace security” over NSSEs, which include “air interdiction teams” used to detect and identify aircraft that violate the restricted airspace above the event. [US Congress, 3/30/2000; Security Management, 2/2002] Again, whether such capabilities are already available in New York in advance of the UN General Assembly is unknown. Even though only four or five events per year are designated as NSSEs, preparations are also underway in the Washington, DC area for a separate NSSE (see 8:30 a.m. September 11, 2001). [US Department of Homeland Security, 7/9/2003; US Department of Homeland Security, 11/8/2004] The UN General Assembly’s gathering of world leaders will be cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks but is rescheduled for November. [CBS News, 9/19/2001; BBC, 11/10/2001; Guardian, 11/10/2001] Entity Tags: National Special Security Events, Secret Service, 1108th Signal Brigade, Craig Miller Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events