By Mr. Kevin Stabinsky (IMCOM)September 16, 2010
FORT MCPHERSON, Ga. -- On Sept. 9, in front of U.S. Army Forces Command (FORSCOM) headquarters on Fort McPherson, a crowd gathered.
Servicemembers, Civilian employees, Family members and DA contractors stood united in spirit and purpose to remember the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, and how it changed the country.
Gen. James Thurman, FORSCOM commanding general, served as guest speaker for the event and said it is important for the country to hold remembrance vigils as each year takes America "slightly more distant from the painful memories."
During the event, honor was given to those injured and killed as a result of the Sept. 11terror attacks - the emergency workers who risked their lives to save others and the members of the armed forces who stepped up to defend freedom.
"The moment came and changed us forever," Thurman said. "On this day, we remember the tragic loss of innocent lives of our fellow Americans."
Although the tragedy caused much suffering, Col. Deborah Grays, U.S. Army Garrison (USAG) commander, said it united the country in purpose and showed the American spirit to America's enemies.
"We are a nation of survivors, fighters and people who adapt," she said.
That fighting spirit is present in the armed forces, Thurman said. Despite nine years of wars, Thurman said the Army still remains resolute.
Invoking the past words of former President George W. Bush, in which he promised the American people that "we will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail,"
Thurman said hundreds of thousands of Soldiers stand unified and ready to keep that same promise today.
Fulfilling that promise has not come cheap, Thurman said, noting many gave their lives in defense of freedom.
"It is the highest form of humility to lay down one's life for others," he said.
The McCloskey family, was honored for such a sacrifice. On Sept. 16, 2009, Peachtree City native Sgt. 1st Class Shawn McCloskey was killed by a roadside bomb while serving in Ghur Ghuri, Afghanistan.
Shaun's father, Pat, mother, Kathy, and sister, Kelly Anderson, were all in attendance to place a wreath outside FORSCOM headquarters to reaffirm the Army's commitment to keep America safe.
"I'm so proud of my brother and wish I had one more day to show him how proud I am," Anderson said.
By participating in the day's event, Anderson said she gets to strengthen her bonds with other military members and show them the same support she had for her brother.
Grays said she feels for the Families and friends who have lost loved ones in the attacks and following wars, adding it is important for the country to remain united in purpose to reflect and remember them all.
Thurman shared similar sentiments, reminding attendees while the course of conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan is unknown, what is certain is the outcome.
"Goodness triumphs over evil," Thurman said. "We will win."