08/27/11 — Remembering: Security Forces Squadron's trek sign many have not forgotten Sept. 11, 2001

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Remembering: Security Forces Squadron's trek sign many have not forgotten Sept. 11, 2001

There are times we wonder if anyone remembers the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001.

We wonder if it still brings tears to the eyes of those who watched as the planes hit the buildings. We wonder if hearts still swell with pride at the story of the Americans who lost their lives battling their terrorist attackers rather than allowing the plane they were on to be used to kill innocent men, women and children.

We wonder how many people remember the nation we became that day -- the unity of purpose, the pride at who we are and for what the United States stands for at home and abroad.

Sometimes it seems that for some Americans -- those who did not lose someone on 9/11 or in the battles afterward -- the pain is not so acute, the memory not so stark.

But this past week, we learned that there are many, many Americans who will never forget, and some who have been reminded, thanks to the men and women of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base's Security Forces Squadron.

These airmen endured heat, sore feet and long hours to walk a guidon across 148 miles in memory of the victims of Sept. 11, 2001, and for their comrades who have lost their lives or who are still fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

And while their achievement alone is heartwarming, the stories they brought back home are even more reason to be proud of this nation.

At many of the stops these young men and women made, they were greeted by well-wishers and patriots, people who have not forgotten that tragic day or the names that will forever be on the list of those we lost.

They thanked the airmen for reminding them -- and humbled them with their own stories of how Sept. 11 changed their lives. And they thanked them, too, for their own service as they carry out the mission that began that day nearly 10 years ago.

And in a few days, some of America's finest realized, again, that the people they are fighting for appreciate them and support their mission.

They knew, for sure, that there are many more Americans than not who will never, ever forget what this nation lost that day or in the days since 9/11.

We owe those airmen a debt of gratitude for reminding us in a very meaningful way that war has a price and that the best way to honor those who have died in service to their country -- or the victims of Sept. 11 -- is to make sure that they are never forgotten and their mission finished.

That is what matters.

Published in Editorials on August 27, 2011 11:34 PM