If the people of Breezy Point can drop $5,000 to send this memorial to Afghanistan, the government can’t spend $5,000 to bring it back?
In the days, weeks, months, even years after the terrorists attack on Sept. 11, 2001, the watch words on every American’s lips were “never forget.”
Unfortunately, someone forgot to remind both US Army Gen Austin S. Miller, Commanding Officer of all US forces in Afghanistan; and US Air Force BGen Derek J. O’Malley, ex-Commanding Officer of the now Afghan-controlled Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan, of that particular vow that millions of Americans pledged.
Here’s what we know so far. As reported by Kerry J. Byrne of the New York Post (emphasis mine);
Remnants of New York City’s most horrific hour will likely remain behind in Afghanistan even as the final American troops leave the struggling nation after 20 years, according to reports.
New York firefighters and police officers delivered debris from the World Trade Center at Bagram Air Base in December 2001, just days after the Taliban was toppled for harboring Sept. 11 terror mastermind Osama Bin Laden.
A steel beam from the World Trade Center was erected at the base after being donated by residents of Breezy Point Queens in 2010. It has since become a base landmark, emblazoned with “WTC” stacked on top of “9 11 01.”
The last US troops left Bagram on Friday. President Biden said that all American personnel will be out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
The future of the memorial is uncertain as the Taliban reasserts authority over Afghanistan in the vacuum left by America’s departure.
As far as the monument consisting of a singular steel beam is concerned, the memorial itself has its own website, which is maintained by the University of Notre Dame’s American Studies Department.
In regards to how this particular piece of the World Trade Center made it to the other side of the planet, the official website of the US Army notes back in 21010 a few truisms that today’s army leadership probably wishes were never published to begin with (emphasis mine);
BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan — An I-beam that was once a part of the World Trade Center now has a home in Afghanistan where the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were first planned.
Soldiers from the 612th Quarter Master Detachment sling-loaded the beam along, with a U.S. flag to the aircraft, which was then piloted by aviation troops from Task Force Falcon. Several troops who were first responders to the attacks on the World Trade Center accompanied the TF Falcon troops on the half-hour flight.
The U.S. flag that flew with the beam, along with another displayed from the back hatch of the helicopter, will be given as a token of appreciation to the residents of Breezy Point, N.Y., who shipped the beam at a cost of approximately $5,000.
Sgt. Timothy Nast, a sling-load noncommissioned officer in charge in the 612th, said he was delighted to support the mission. “When my chief brought it to my attention, I of course said, ‘yes, I’ll take the mission. It’s a part of history, and not just that-it lets all of us that are here remember what we’re here fighting for,” Nast said. “We will never forget 9/11, so it was an honor for me and my Soldiers to be part of this.”
Residents of Breezy Point donated the beam through an organization called ‘Sons and Daughters of America, Breezy Point.’ the City of New York had given a number of beams to the residents of Breezy Point after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks that killed 29 residents from the small neighborhood in Queens.
Lt. Col. Jeff Cantor, team chief of the special issues team, Stability Operations, CJTF-82, who also assisted in the recovery efforts at the site of the World Trade Center Attacks, said he took the experience personally.
“To me it’s very important that I salute them for what they did on 9/11,” said Cantor, a resident of Marlboro, N.J. “And now I’m here (in Afghanistan) to show my support and hopefully we’ll have the unveiling right here and that piece of history will live on forever.”
Cantor said the beam will soon be put on display in front of the CJTF-82 command center in Bagram along with a stone engraving, also donated by the organization, dedicating the beam to the armed services of the United States and reminding them never to forget the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
One doesn’t need to be a Nostredumbass to prophesize that Bagram will fall to the Taliban. And just how do you think they’ll look upon this American memorial to their own fall from power?
I really do hate to be the one to say this, but in less than 20 years an awful lot of Americans have forgotten 9/11.
And a lot of these folks wear big shiny stars on their uniforms.