FORT McPHERSON, Ga. (Sept. 9, 2010)--All Americans remember where they were when the news broke of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
"And we remember the grief that we all felt for our countrymen, but that grief has hardened into resolve" declared Gen James D. Thurman, commander of U.S. Army Forces Command, in his keynote address during a solemn Patriot Day ceremony here.
He emphasized that in spite of the nine years of war following those attacks, the nation and its Army remains resolute in both purpose and focus, remaining steadfast to the pledge President George W. Bush made that "We will not tire. We will not falter. We will not fail."
"On this day we not only honor the victims who perished nine years ago, but we also recognize our Soldiers who demonstrate this nation's resolve," he told the audience gathered outside the FORSCOM headquarters building.
The commander of the Army's largest command also acknowledged that many of America's service men and women have courageously and selflessly answered the call, many giving their lives in the defense of the country's freedom.
"Let me assure you that at this moment hundreds of thousands of American Soldiers stand unified around the world in the cause of freedom," Thurman said. "Our Soldiers, along with our Sailors, Airmen, and Marines, are fulfilling our promise of freedom. And you can be certain we will prevail. For people who live in freedom always prevail over those who live in oppression."
Looking to the future, he observed that one must always expect the unexpected and assume that some unforeseen event requiring a U.S. military response will occur.
"While we cannot predict the exact nature of the next crisis, we must be prepared to respond as directed by our nation's leaders," he said. "In the meantime, our Army will continue to field the best trained, best equipped and best led forces in the world. The course of this conflict is unknown. None of us knows exactly the sacrifices that might lie ahead. But what is certain is the outcome. We will win!"
After his speech, Gen. Thurman assisted the family of Sgt.1st Class Shawn McCloskey place a wreath in honor of the nation's fallen heroes. McCloskey was killed in Afghanistan while serving with Company B, 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group.
FORSCOM is responsible for more than 832,000 Active and Reserve Component Soldiers, capable of rapidly responding whenever America's friends or allies are in danger, fighting the nation's wars, and supporting civil authorities, all while transforming the Army.