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    10th MTN holds 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Afghanistan

    10th MTN holds 9/11 remembrance ceremony in Afghanistan

    Photo By Sgt. Danielle Rodrigues | Combined Joint Task Force-10 Commander Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend poses for a photo...... read more read more



    Story by Master Sgt. Kap Kim 

    Combined Joint Task Force 10

    BAGRAM AIR FIELD, Afghanistan – Hundreds of deployed coalition service members and civilians found their way to the Regional Command-East Headquarters where Combined Joint Task Force-10 held its 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony, Sept. 11, 2014.

    The ceremony was centered at the base of flag poles of Regional Command-East’s coalition partners in front of a support beam from the World Trade Center, donated by the residents of Breezy Point, New York, to the service members deployed to Afghanistan. It was flown in 2010 and brought to Bagram Air Field as a constant reminder of why U.S. forces are in Afghanistan.

    “We are here because of the events of 13 years ago,” said Maj. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the CJTF-10 and RC-East commander. We are here in Afghanistan to ensure that terrorists will never again be able to use Afghanistan to attack the rest of the world.”

    For many of the members of the U.S. armed forces in 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry), the events of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, were televised memories from their childhood.

    For U.S. Army Capt. John Tramazzo, who was a Gonzaga High School sophomore in Washington, D.C. during 9/11, seeing the smoke from the Pentagon from his history class window changed the course of his future.

    “It was an eerie ride back to Rockville,” he said. “That, of course, was when I decided I’d serve in the military.”

    Today, Tramazzo serves in the CJTF-10 Staff Judge Advocate’s office at RC-East Headquarters at Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan, which is contained in an old Russian hangar.

    Townsend referred to service members such as Tramazzo as the “9/11 generation” and recognized their many sacrifices to their commitment.

    “They joined our ranks knowing they would be sent into harm’s way; it’s pretty remarkable,” Townsend said. “Today, we recall the sacrifice of all of our coalition and Afghan partners who have served, fought, bled and fell -- we will never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice defending our freedom.”

    Townsend, who in 2001 was the battalion commander for 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 10th Mtn. Div., watched the 9/11 attacks on TV with his Soldiers, said he knew exactly what the events of that day meant for him and his troops.

    Within a few months after 9/11, he deployed his battalion to Afghanistan as a part of Operation Anaconda.

    “I found myself in Afghanistan with a rifle in my hand,” he said. “Now, 13 years later, here we all are … working together to bring this combat phase of our international effort to a close and begin a new phase of resolute support.”

    As the 10th Mtn. Div. moves closer to their last few months as RC-East, its time in Afghanistan was hard spent. The division headquarters has served as RC-East Headquarters from the very beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom and helps transition the move into Operation Resolute Support toward the end. In all, the “Mountain Division” has headquartered RC-East four times and one in RC-South, and its brigades and battalions have served in Afghanistan throughout the 13-year conflict.

    As the Division nears the end of its currently deployment, its members will bring something that was borrowed from years ago: the I-beam from Breezy Point. And with that, the legacy born on that September day.

    “Together we will remain a community drawn together in the common cause of freedom,” Townsend said in his closing remarks to the crowd. “God bless each of you, your nations and your families for your service, your sacrifice, and your commitment to this fight.”



    Date Taken: 09.11.2014
    Date Posted: 09.12.2014 13:46
    Story ID: 141949
    Location: BAGRAM AIR FIELD, AF 

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