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Members of Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan stand at attention during the playing of Taps at the Veterans Day ceremony at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Nov. 11, 2008. More than 200 U.S. and coalition forces service members attended the ceremony Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas Mappin

Members of Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan stand at attention during the playing of Taps at the Veterans Day ceremony at Camp Eggers in Kabul, Nov. 11, 2008. More than 200 U.S. and coalition forces service members attended the ceremony to honor fallen comrades in wars past and present.

By Petty Officer 1st Class Douglas Mappin
Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan - For service members at Camp Eggers, Veteran's Day was a day to commemorate Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who have fallen in battle, especially their comrades from Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan.

The service members gathered before the 24 coalition forces flags to honor veterans who have worn and continue to wear, the uniform of the U.S. military. During the observance led by CSTC-A Commanding General Maj. Gen. Robert W. Cone, two words were emphasized above all others - sacrifice and remembrance.

"Today, we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. We remember the men and women who laid down their lives for their country for a cause greater than themselves," Cone said. "We especially remember our Afghan comrades who have laid down their lives fighting for their country. They continue to take the fight to the enemy to ensure the Afghan people no longer live in fear."

Cone thanked the service members for their service, reminding each that the freedoms we enjoy, as a nation, come with price.

"These veterans who came before you took the same oath to defend our nation," Cone said. "They have been an extraordinary example to all who have followed, and we thank them for their service to our nation."

U.S. forces, not alone in the remembrance of their fallen heroes, were joined by British, Canadian and Australian service members who were celebrating Remembrance Day, a day when service members of the British commonwealth wear a red poppy on their uniforms signifying the losses of soldiers in World War I - and wars since.

Brig. Jonathan Watson, commanding general of CSTC-A's Command Training Advisory Group, said Remembrance Day, like Veteran's Day, is a day to honor all fallen comrades of war, military and civilian alike, when a two-minute moment of silence is observed throughout his native England.

For both Chief Petty Officer John Tanedo of CSTC-A's force integrations and training directorate, and Army Master Sgt. Flora McKnight of the operations directorate, each shared common observations of the ceremony.

"For me, it is a good way to remember that we are defending our country," said Tanedo. "I think it is important we remember those who came before us who gave their all."

McKnight said Veteran's Day is a means of honoring others who thought more of freedom than of their own lives.

"I always think of the outstanding sacrifice of those who served before us. It is they who enable me and my family to have the quality of life we have today."

Following the ceremony, six service members of CSTC-A's security force from 436 Chemical Company, Texas National Guard in Laredo, stood at attention before Cone, who congratulated them for their decision to become U.S. citizens a day earlier.


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Public Domain Mark
This work, Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan service members honor heroes of wars past and present, by PO1 Douglas Mappin, identified by DVIDS, is free of known copyright restrictions under U.S. copyright law.

Date Taken:11.11.2008

Date Posted:11.11.2008 10:25

Location:KABUL, AFGlobe

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