MNC-I holds 9/11 remembrance ceremony
September 11, 2006
CAMP VICTORY, Iraq (Army News Service, Sept. 11, 2006) - Multi-National Corps-Iraq held a 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at the Al Faw Palace today, reminding everyone in attendance why servicemembers stand on foreign ground.<br/><br/>Currently, U.S. Forces are involved in operations Iraqi and Enduring Freedom to ensure America's safety and securing freedom for millions of Iraqi and Afghani citizens.<br/><br/>The ceremony opened with the 76th Army Band playing the Iraqi National Anthem followed by the U.S. National Anthem.<br/><br/>Sgt. Maj. Ivor Watson of combined joint staff narrated the sequence of events that occurred Sept. 11, 2001, then participants spent a moment in silence remembering those who lost their lives that day.<br/><br/>Spc. Jose Burgos, an Army reservist with the 404th Civil Affairs Battalion from Fort Dix, N.J., provided medical care to World Trade Center victims as an emergency medical technician. It only gets harder as time goes by, he said.<br/><br/>"I can't believe it was five years ago, it feels like yesterday," he said. "It is hard to imagine ... It is hard being here, doing the (mass casualty) exercises, knowing I could be involved with something like that again."<br/><br/>Burgos was one of eight Soldiers attending the ceremony who were directly involved in providing support to victims on Sept. 11.<br/><br/>U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad spoke at the event.<br/><br/>"The true monument for the heroes and victims of 9/11 will not be made of stone. It will be a living monument (made up of) the 50 million people liberated from tyranny since that day. A free and prosperous Iraq will stand as the ultimate testimony to the sacrifices you are making to ensure that America remains secure from the threats posed by terrorists," he said.<br/><br/>MNC-I Commander Lt. Gen. Peter Chiarelli reminded participants that victims were common, everyday people.<br/><br/>"They were mothers, fathers, daughters, sons and friends," he said. "They were old, middle-aged and children. They were Americans, but they were also citizens of a dozen nations," he said.<br/><br/>Chiarelli went on to say some of them were innocent bystanders, while others were rescue workers and heroes who sacrificed their lives that day to save others. Chiarelli said the terrorists didn't realize America's determination to seek justice when they attacked U.S. soil.<br/><br/>"These murderers bet that the United States and its friends would stand by and do nothing," he said. "They bet that we would shrink from our duty and our purpose. They bet wrong."<br/><br/>"Over the last five years, the United States and its brave allies have waged an offensive campaign against those who hate free nations and free people," he continued. "Let there be no doubt, we will prevail in this struggle."