U.S. allies honor America’s fallen during 9/11 run
By Tim HansonSeptember 23, 2020
Foreign military partners and local runners took to the pavement Sept. 11 to honor those fallen during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.The memorial run kicked off at the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and wound its way through the city, where participants ended the 9.11 kilometer route in the heart of Greater Harrisburg.The event was coordinated by Lt. Col. Shai Schul, a security assistance liaison officer (SALO) with the U.S. Army Security Assistance Command’s (USASAC) Pennsylvania office.When asked why he initiated the event, Schul said without hesitation to help honor the men and women killed during the worst terrorist attack on American soil.SALOs from Canada, Australia, Japan, Greece, Colombia and other countries, along with a local running group and USASAC personnel, participated in the run. SALOS from across the globe are assigned to USASAC to monitor their nations’ foreign military sales (FMS) cases.Currently, USASAC manages more than 6,500 FMS cases worth $205 billion in over 140 countries. A critical component of U.S. foreign policy, USASAC’s mission builds partner capacity, supports Combatant Command strategies and strengthens global partnerships.Those relationships are reflected in the steadfast relationships America enjoys with its partners, spanning decades, during both war and peacetime.And while the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were on American soil, the effects were felt by U.S. partners and allies all over the world. In the days, months and years that followed, U.S. allies and partners across the globe joined in the war on terror.“I will never forget that day. My son was approximately 6 months old and I had just put him down for a nap. I sat down to watch the news with my morning coffee. I never left that seat all day. I cried in shock at what I was watching on my TV,” said Capt. Melissa Bryan, USASAC’s Canadian SALO. “I hope they feel the support from countries all around the world as we all stand in solidarity with America to mourn and remember the loss from that day,” said Bryan.“9/11 has a special meaning to the Greek people,” said USASAC SALO Lt. Col. Athanasios Natsios of Greece. “It declares the importance of homeland security and that every state in the free world has to make continuous efforts in order to protect its citizens. Homeland security is always the first priority of the state.”“As a part of an international running group, I hope the Americans know that there are people, coming from different places of the world, who live here and share the same values with them,” said Natsios. “It is our duty to support any initiative that contributes to building a resilient society, to promote freedom and peace, as well as (support) homeland security.”Schul hopes the run will become an annual tradition between SALOs and U.S. personnel. USASAC SALO Program Manager Terra Good agrees.She said the run is so much more than a commemorative event. “It’s a symbolic representation of strengthening global partnerships.”“The SALO community is more than just a part of USASAC,” said Good. “They are family. Countries represented in our SALO program are our partners and allies. Many of these countries fought, and are fighting, side-by-side with American forces.”For more information about USASAC and how it supports U.S. foreign policy, visit www.army.mil/usasac.