79th SSC PAO
I can remember exactly what I was doing when the trade towers went down. I remember calling home, asking my family if they heard the news, and then asking if they were okay.
Life has changed quite a bit since the towers fell. We've been a nation at war for more than eight years and we continue on with deployments. Even with combat operations ending in Iraq, there's much to be done in Afghanistan and elsewhere.
Our Soldiers and Families have undergone years of stress and changes as their loved ones go back and forth from the Middle East. Our communities have reached out and supported us and we have formed thousands of new relationships across the world.
This year, I've been asked to spend this somber weekend with some folks who know a few things about war and all that goes with it. I'm here in Branson, Mo. to attend the 64th Annual reunion of the 314th Infantry Regiment, 79th Infantry Division of World War II.
They are the living history of the 79th SSC and I am deeply honored to be here to catalogue their stories, laugh at their jokes and thank their wives for everything they've done.
Their world was turned upside down when Hitler brought his evil to the world, and they lived through years of war -- without today's communications luxuries -- and having faith that their men and women would return whole.
Last night I had the opportunity to meet some of these humble WWII veterans. There are 11 of them here this weekend, but five years ago there were fifty.
When you think about the events of 9/11 and what it means to you, remember the United States as a whole, and its history.
This is not the first time our freedom has been threatened, nor will it be the last. Our generation is one of many that have faced fear and overcome terrible tragedy to make our country a beacon for millions worldwide.