This September 11th marks 19-years since the terrorist attack that changed our world, how we live our lives, and how we served.
Everyone has their story about how they received the news. I heard
when assigned as the Support Platoon Leader with 1-172nd Armor in St. Albans. Once the reality and scope of what had happened set in, we all knew everything had changed, casting our role as a National Guard in a different light. Global terrorism had come to America. 2,977 people died in the attacks of 9/11, with more than 6000 injured - people of every gender, race, creed, ethnicity and religious background.
Please take a moment today and reflect. Reflect and remember the heroes who served on that day in New York City. The First Responders who looked at a chaotic situation and without hesitation, rushed into the fray and performed what would be their final act of selfless service.
These actions show their character and what heroes do. They selflessly run towards danger for the safety and protection of others. They held the values and personal fortitude that everyone should aspire to.
Since that day, the Vermont National Guard has repeatedly been asked to go above and beyond expectations. Time and again, we have done that. We will continue to do so, without hesitation. It is our solemn duty.
The Vermont National Guard has also had our share of hardship and loss. Every day I walk past the names of our fallen, lost in the War on Terror. I remember them. Their sacrifice is felt and honored, and every day we think of them. They were our comrades-in-arms who decided that in a time of war, they would selflessly serve their country.
I know lot is asked of the Vermont National Guard, but today I am not asking. I implore you to keep not only our fallen in your thoughts, but also our Gold Star families. Think of them and the hard sacrifice they continue to live with every day. Reach out to our Gold Star families, check on our combat Veterans who served with those we lost, and honor their memories together. We may not be able to easily remember together in person, but for me, a phone call, text, or email from someone I haven’t heard from in a while, can mean the world.
Going into this weekend, take a moment to reflect, to honor, and to remember all that we have gone through together. I know I will.