Another year has passed since the tragedy of 9/11, and now we approach the 11th anniversary of the day that America will never forget. Many of us can still recall what we were doing on that Tuesday morning as we became aware of the 19 militants, associated with an Islamic extremist group, who hijacked four airliners and then preceded to carry out suicide attacks; two planes were flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, one plane was flown into the Pentagon outside of Washington, D.C., while another plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field. As millions of us watched the events unfold, it was easy to realize that America was under attack. By the time the dust of destruction settled from the crashes and fallen buildings, 3,000 people were said to have died, 400 of which were police officers and firefighters.
On October 7, 2001, Operation Enduring Freedom began; an American-led international effort to destroy Osama bin Laden and his terrorist network, and to get rid of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan. In two months’ time, the U.S. forces were successful at removing the Taliban from operational power. However; the war continued and Osama bin Laden was not found and killed until May 2, 2011. The mission was finally complete but it did not come without great sacrifice. It has been confirmed by the U.S. Central Command that 6,568 soldiers have lost their lives; and here you can honor the fallen. Thankfully, large troop withdrawals have started to take place from Afghanistan, with all troops scheduled to be home by 2014.
9/11 left us as a mourning nation, but Americans everywhere came together to honor the victims and give patriotism a new meaning with candlelight moments of silence and more American flags flown than ever before. Something horrendous and tragic caused many of us to stop our busy lives for a while and for once, feel a since of unity. It is important to keep this sense of unity alive and reinforce the idea that we are here for one another.
On 9/11, take a moment to honor the ones that have given their lives, and pray for their loved ones that have had to go on living without them. On www.911memorial.org, there will be a live webcast of the commemoration ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial in New York, starting at 8:30 a.m. EST on September 11, 2012.
USF will also be hosting a 9/11 Memorial Concert and Field Day, today, September 8th at 4:00 – 9:00 p.m. It will be held in the USF MLK fields and an after party will take place at the Dallas Bull. This event is presented by Circle K International and Student Veterans Association as the first ever Remember Our Heroes Concert and Field Day. Tickets will be available at the door. All proceeds will benefit the non-profit Soldiers’ Angels.