VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- "Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended." So said then-President George W. Bush, sixteen years ago today.

Across the country, and here in Hampton Roads, people stopped to remember 9/11.

At the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek chapel, former base commanding officer Frank Hugheltt talked about being at the Pentagon that day.

"And we didn't instantly know what to do," he said. "We just saw a jetliner plow into the Pentagon directly in front of us and for several seconds we just standing there, dumfounded."

For Navy Chief Joshua Landon, it was a different experience. He was sent to New York's Ground Zero to do search and rescue.

"The first thing I remember, walking down the street and seeing a piece of an ear in he street where people just jumped," he said. "9/11 changed me. That's the reason I put this uniform on every day."

Little Creek's current c.o., Captain Joey Frantzen, urged people to never forget

"It's just all about the American spirit and our will to do great things and fight for freedom, so I think that's really what it's all about," he said.

In all, more than 2,900 Americans lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. Since then, another 6,900-plus have died in the various wars on terror.