By Navy Seaman Timothy Newborn
Special to American Forces Press Service
Sept. 11, 2008 - More than 300 soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and civilians gathered today at Camp Eggers here to remember the thousands of victims who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks against America. Navy Chaplain (Cmdr.) Patrick McCormick, Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan's command chaplain, gave the invocation commencing the remembrance ceremony.
The invocation was followed by the national anthem and the reading of a timeline of the attacks.
Army Maj. Gen. Robert W. Cone, Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan commander, and the acting command sergeant major, Army Sgt. Maj. Gregory Valcin, performed a ceremonial wreath-laying to honor those lost.
"We all remember the exact moment we heard the news, where we were, and how we experienced that painful day unfold," Cone said. "Today, we remember and honor our fellow citizens who perished that day.
"As we know, freedom has a price. We as a nation have paid a high price for the freedom we enjoy," the general continued. "Eighty-nine CSTC-A soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines have made the ultimate sacrifice."
Cone said the command's men and women continue their presence in Afghanistan, joining their allies and the Afghan government and citizens to defeat their common enemies.
"CSTC-A is making progress in training, mentoring and equipping the Afghan National Army and police to provide the necessary security for Afghanistan," Cone said.
Army Maj. Wesley Cox, an embedded training team mentor for the Afghan National Army, experienced the Sept. 11 attacks firsthand. He was at the Pentagon when a plane hit the building.
"Being in Afghanistan actually provides a degree of closure," he said. "The people of this war-torn nation deserve peace, security and freedom."
The ceremony concluded with a moment of silence followed by the playing of "Taps."
(Navy Seaman Timothy Newborn serves in the Combined Security Transition Command Afghanistan Public Affairs Office.)