FORT BRAGG, NC – The fire, smoke and rubble that covered the landscape of lower Manhattan, New York, Stonycreek Township, Penn. and the Pentagon sent shockwaves throughout the nation and around the world. Now, 10 years later, those shockwaves and feelings are still felt just as strongly as on that tragic day.
A decade later, service members, civilians and friends of United States Army Special Operations Command conducted a ceremony at Meadows Field Memorial Plaza, Sept. 09, to remember and honor those that were lost on that day as well as during the years of war that are continuing this day.
Lt. Gen. John F. Mulholland Jr., commanding general of USASOC, thanked everyone in attendance for coming and stated the importance of this ceremony.
“Thank you for taking the time to be here with us today at our memorial plaza as we remember this critical anniversary, this essential anniversary, this inevitable anniversary of the attacks of 9/11,” said Mulholland.
“It is a striking time for us. It is a time for us to absolutely remember and reflect particularly within this community of the Army Special Operations and within our larger Joint Special Operations community for what we have done and the price that we too have paid and our families along with us,” said Mulholland.
During his speech, Mulholland made reference to the stanzas from our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner and describing the importance of each as it related to our current engagements that our military are involved in today.
“Any and all of us that has every listened to the words of our National Anthem, know that it ask of us every time it is played a critical question. That question is O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave. O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave. This is the question that put before us on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001,” stated Mulholland.
Mulholland concluded his speech by answering that question with a synopsis of the accomplishments and sacrifices that have been made by Army Special Operational Forces and their brothers and sisters in the emergency response field.
“This force, this community, this Nation, this Army, this incredible military that is ours as did our brothers and sisters in emergency response systems that responded that day have answered that eternal question to our National Anthem. That this does indeed remain the land of the free and the home of the brave,” said Mulholland.
“We validate that verse every single day. We know it is our job to validate that verse every day until this war is won,” Mulholland continued. “The cost to our country that terrible day continues to take its toll. But despite that, that which makes us Americans, Special Operators and that which makes us at the end of the day, worthy descendants of the men and women that fought so valiantly in the early days to give us a country continues today.”
“The thing that I ask of all of us is that we remain worthy of that question and how we answer it every single day. And without question I have absolutely no doubt that is there is any force on Earth that will remain loyal to that question and answer it in the affirmative, it is the U.S Army Special Operations and our Families,” said Mulholland.
After Mulholland concluded his speech, Command Sgt. Maj. Parry Baer, USASOC command sergeant major recognized those that perished on 9/11 and each of the subordinate units of USASOC that have made the ultimate sacrifice since that fateful day.