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Posted on Sep 11, 2008 in Stuff We Like

Remember 9/11

By John Antal

A U.S. Soldier mans a machine-gun turret on an armored HMMWV (Hummer) in Kabul on September 7, 2008. (Antal photo).

There is nothing glamorous about war. Combat is brutal. Death is always a tragedy. But when the option is to fight or die, I am of the opinion that life and liberty are worth the battle. The alternatives to standing firm in the face of evil — surrender and the murder of my fellow citizens — are unacceptable to me.

Having just returned from ten days in Afghanistan on a visit to US and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) troops, I believe it is fitting that we remember that today, seven years ago, the United States was deliberately and viciously attacked. On this day, seven years ago, thousands of our citizens were killed by radical extremists who are dedicated to destroying our way of life.

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I snapped this photo of a Soldier a few days ago. He provided security for me by manning the machine gun turret as we drove from the Kabul Airport to a nearby NATO camp.

Soldiers like this one are on guard, 24/7, working long hours in very difficult conditions and doing the hard work of securing and rebuilding a nation for the Afghan people.

Soldiers like this one, along with other American Soldiers, Marines, Airmen and Sailorsstand alongside the troops of many NATO countries (Great Britain, France, Romania, Poland, Canada, Australia and the Netherlands, to name a few) in Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban and other extremists.

Most of the US Soldiers are on 12-15 month tours. Can you imagine the strain these long and dangerous deployments place on them and their families? Their commitment and dedication is nothing short of remarkable.

And all of the American troops – Army, Marine, Navy and Air Force – are all volunteers. The entire ten days I was in Afghanistan, not a single American warrior whined or complained to me. Each one I met believed in what they were doing and wanted to get the job done.

Every day they sacrifice for us. Every day they serve to keep our way of life – so that we can enjoy our freedoms, worship as we choose, vote for who want and yes, even play video games.

Today Soldiers like this, will remember the 9/11 and the reason why they serve: They serve for you.

Soldiers like this one make me very proud are a vivid reminder to me that we should never forget the attacks on 9/11.

Colonel John Antal, US Army (Retired)
Founding Editor, Armchair General magazine

1 Comment

  1. For the past 8 years, I’ve been learning just what the US Armed Forces has done and continues to do for the United States of America and the free world. On that day of 9/11/01 – I sat with my eyes on the TV as the second plane hit the twin towers – Moments later the sound of the plane hitting the Pentagon reverberated and struck home as I’m within 6 miles of that location. I’ve continued my mission of “Preserving the memories so others will remember…” ™ to remind people of those who have given, so we can enjoy the freedom that we do. http://photosbyjohnmichael.blogspot.com/

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