Less than one year after the devastating terror attacks in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, Congress officially recognized September 11th as Patriot Day in our Nation. While we can never forget the events of that day, we can honor the nearly 3,000 lives lost by participating in a National Day of Service and Remembrance. I encourage each of you to find a way to mark the significance of this day and remember the more than 6,600 Service Members who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
Tomorrow in Winchester, Virginia, USACE will end a chapter in our post-9/11 history when the USACE Deployment Center (UDC) officially closes its doors. Since 2005, more than 7,000 of our Soldiers and Civilians, as well as thousands from other commands, have processed through the UDC for Overseas Contingency Operations missions. The outstanding employees of Transatlantic Division and the UDC have ensured that those individuals who raised their hands and volunteered for deployment were trained, equipped and ready to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan. To the many folks who have made that possible, thank you.
In the days after 9/11, retired General Colin Powell said: “You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.”
We have seen that American spirit prevail in the dedication of our tireless All Volunteer Army and their families… in the Civilians and Contractors who have willingly deployed in harm’s way…in our firefighters, police officers and public safety officials who risk their lives to save ours…and in every citizen of our Nation who faced the dark days and weeks after 9/11 with greater resolve to live in freedom. It is that American spirit which we remember and give thanks for today.
Essayons…Building Strong…Army Strong!
Thomas P. Bostick
Lieutenant General, US Army
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