By Maj. Gen. James M. Milano, commanding general September 7, 2011
FORT JACKSON, S.C. -- This week, we will remember the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our nation. With those memories will come images, words and names. We will also remember the sequence of events and where we were as they unfolded.
We will remember how those events changed us, both individually and collectively, creating a generation now dubbed the 9/11 generation. Additionally, we will honor the memories of the almost 3,000 lives lost that tragic day. It is an anniversary unlike any other and perhaps the most emotion evoking remembrance that our generation will ever participate in. Each of us will remember this event and how we as a nation came together to respond to this evil and how to this day we continue to hold those responsible accountable.
We will remember how Americans responded in New York, at the Pentagon and in the ill-fated jetliner over Pennsylvania. We will remember the more than 6,000 service members who have given their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan in the 10 years since 9/11 and the tens of thousands of our wounded warriors.
We will also remember the Gold Star families of our fallen heroes.
As Soldiers, it is our duty to deploy to far away inhospitable lands and protect America and its way of life. We have taken the oath of service to the nation and have vowed to protect what America stands for. We will remember and reflect upon those words and recommit ourselves to our profession of arms.
As Soldiers, we are committed to winning America's wars, while at the same time demonstrating the values that set us apart from those who choose to use terror as means to promote their causes.
This weekend, we will also remember the Soldiers and civilians who will not have a chance to attend any of our planned activities or any other gatherings because they are deployed. We will always remember the Soldiers who have gone before us, and the sacrifices that they have made in advancing the fight against extremists bent on taking away our freedoms.
We will remember our many victories, such as the operation this past year that killed Osama bin Laden and the one two weeks ago that eliminated al-Qaida's newly promoted second in command -- both missions reflecting our persistence and unwavering commitment. We will keep these victories in mind, but we will not dwell on them because, simply put, we are not done.
We remain engaged in a persistent conflict against an extremely resolute and merciless enemy.
The events of 9/11, along with the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, have helped define America's next greatest generation, as Pearl Harbor and World War II helped certainly define one. Another great generation needs mention and thanks, and that's the dedicated, selfless and proud generation that did its duty in Vietnam, doing what the nation asked of them during their time. The 9/11 generation includes 5 million Americans who have served in uniform -- active, Guard and Reserve -- in the past decade.
Just as numerous previous generations of Americans faced great challenges, the 9/11 generation has risen to the occasion to ensure the security of our country and way of life.
This weekend, I ask you to remember the 9/11 attacks and honor the memories of those we lost that day, and those who continue to sacrifice in defense of our great nation. Remember, there is no single way to best observe 9/11 -- the point is that we remember. I invite you to join me in remembering this event by attending a 9/11 Wreath-laying Ceremony at 9 a.m. in front of Post Headquarters Friday.
Army Strong and Victory Starts Here!