September 13, 2012

9/11 Remembrance Message

Brig. Gen. Vincent A. Coglianese
Commanding General MCI West

Please take a moment today to pause and remember those who died Sept 11, 2001, in the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Flight 93. We must never forget the 2,996 people who lost their lives that Tuesday morning, including 2,902 Americans and the more than 200 citizens from 40 other countries.

It was an attack on the innocent of all ages, races, and ethnicities. It was an attack on America, on our way of life, on our families, and on our values. It was an attack on our core — on who we are, what we do, what we think, and how we feel.

As Lt. Gen. John Kelly, USMC, stated so eloquently, “We didn’t start this fight. It came to us with a visceral loathing of everything we are. It will not end until our adversaries

and their allies around the world- state and non-state alike – understand that we will never lose our faith or courage as a people. Our enemy is savage. He offers absolutely no

quarter. He has a single focus, and that is to either kill every one of us here at home, or to enslave us with a sick form of extremism that serves no god or no purpose that any decent man or woman could ever understand. I don’t know why they hate us, and I don’t care. But we are America, and we must prevail because we remain mankind’s best hope for the future. Not them.”

As a result of the attacks, we have been at war for 11 years. We will forever be changed, as Americans and as Marines. Some of us were already Marines on 9/11; others joined directly after the attacks. Many of our Marines now were 9, 10 or 11 years old on the day of the attacks. The attacks on 9/11 are the most defining experience of this generation.

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