9-11 Commemoration Message to Soldiers

One year after the events of September 11th, 2001, The Army pauses to remember and honor the victims of the attacks against our Nation in New York City, in Washington D.C., and in Pennsylvania.

11 September is a day to reflect on their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families as we pay respect to our fallen comrades, our dearest friends, colleagues, loved ones both military and civilian, and others who lost their lives in those senseless acts of terrorism.

And we also remember those who have been lost in operations since that date in the war against terrorism, a necessary and successful campaign quickly mounted in response to those attacks. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have given their last full measure of devotion to our great country, to the defense of freedom, and to the fight against tyranny. We will not forget, and will long honor, their devotion to this country and the principles we hold dear.

For over 227 years now, Soldiers have defended freedom. And today, Soldiers are again fighting on behalf of the Nation as part of America’s joint warfighting team prosecuting the war on terrorism. We can all be justifiably proud of The Army’s achievements as the vanguard of democracy and liberty. Those achievements included the actions of Army civilian employees and family members who reacted so bravely and without hesitation to the attack on the Pentagon. They included the actions of our Army Special Operations forces — first on the ground in Afghanistan — as they linked up with leaders of the Northern Alliance and launched our campaign against terror by creating the conditions for our joint and combined victory — ridding Afghanistan of Taliban and al-Qaeda oppression. They were apparent as Soldiers from the Guard and Reserve mobilized for Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom, in the determined actions of Soldiers fighting in previously unheard of places like the Shah-e-Kot Valley during Operation Anaconda, and in all of the sacrifices and the selfless service of all members of the Army Team both at home and abroad over the past year.

So today we honor those lost a year ago, those lost in the long days since September 11th, and all of their families — we know we do not Soldier alone. We acknowledge the enduring contributions of The Army during the past year, and we look forward with determination and resolve as we continue to fulfill our nonnegotiable contract with the American people — to fight and win our nation’s wars, decisively. You are respected by our allies, feared by our opponents, and honored and esteemed by the American people. Your courage, dedication to duty and selfless service to the Nation are the hallmarks of the United States Army.

We will never be able to tell you enough how very proud we are of you; the Well-Being of our Army family — Soldiers, civilians, retirees, veterans, and their families are always foremost in our prayers and in our actions. Thank you for your service, for your sacrifices, and for your abiding devotion to duty.

God bless each and every one of you and your families, God bless our magnificent Army, and God bless America.

Eric K. Shinseki
General, United States Army
Chief of Staff
Thomas E. White
Secretary, United States Army

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