TAMPA, Fla. — Military leaders at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa remembered the lives lost on 9/11 nearly 20 years ago during a ceremony at the air force base’s Special Operations Memorial. The solemn anniversary not only brings back memories of loss, but also the acts of heroism we saw that day and in the years that followed.
For many members of the military, 9/11 marked the start of a long commitment towards keeping Americans safe. The memorial at MacDill honors the 660 special operations military members who have lost their lives since 9/11/2001.
Army General Marcus Evans served in Afghanistan and said September 11th is a reminder of the sacrifice thousands have made towards keeping our nation safe.
“The men and women who answered the call to service and have repeatedly demonstrated courage, character, and competence under the most challenging conditions,” Evans explained.
MacDill leaders say America is safer now than ever.
On September 11, 2001, the US Forces Special Command, which is based at MacDill, called in military members from 60 countries to assist in the war on terrorism. The base quickly grew from 1,000 people to 4,000 in the months after 9/11. Now, even as troops pull out from Afghanistan, the work at MacDill to keep all of us safe is more important than ever.
“The terrorism still exists and it’s not going to come to an end just because we left and the SOCOM force is better than it was 20 years ago because of what we have been doing because we have been involved in the fight,” said SOCOM Commander Rich Clarke.
As we all pause to remember the lives lost on 9/11, leaders at MacDill hope you’ll also commemorate the military members who dedicated their lives to combatting terrorism.