KANDAHAR PROVINCE, Afghanistan - On Sept. 11, 2012, soldiers from Headquarters and Company A of the 120th Engineer Battalion gathered together in remembrance of September 11, 2001.
Army Chaplain (Capt.) Matthew Brown and his assistant, Spc. Jacob Few conducted the ceremony. Lt. Col. Jack Ritter, battalion commander, and Command Sgt. Maj. Richard Raby, also spoke a few words to the soldiers. The ceremony was short, but very powerful.
Army Sgt. Jerry Nichols was in Company A’s formation and had this to say, “The ceremony was very moving to me. It hit on a few things that made me remember those past events in a different way.”
Upon further conversation about his immediate reactions and thoughts, Nichols revealed some of the emotions he experienced on Sept. 11.
“This tragedy really hit home for me, not because I was personally affected, but it took away that feeling of invulnerability. It made me realize that we’re not invincible,” said Nichols.
Spc. Dustin Bradford of Headquarters of Headquarters Company, 120th En. Bn., said he had a similar experience.
“I remember being in my 7th grade Language Arts class. My teacher came in crying and turned on the TV. We all just sat and watched in shock as the second tower fell,” said Bradford.
When asked about the ceremony, Bradford said, “This was a sobering realization of why we are actually here fighting. Sometimes it’s so easy to forget.”
With many other people in that formation, some who were personally affected and others who were part of a wounded nation, emotions were high.
As Spc. Few read a poem, people’s hearts were touched, like that of Sgt. Nichols. Nichols had a final quote to sum up the events and thoughts of all who were in attendance, “No life is forgotten. They may be gone, but never forgotten. Their sacrifice was not in vain, and they will be remembered forever.”