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Sunday, September 11, 2005

Hello Angels,

We wish you a great Sunday!

Enclosed I send you the links from our last visit in Landstuhl and Kleber.
We brought 187 backpacks or sportbacks to the hospital.
We are back with 60 new ones at the end of September and October.

Thank you very much for all the boxes and items you send to us.

God Bless you and your family!

Wilhelmine Aufmkolk - International President
Soldiers Angels

Soldiers Angels in Germany

Chaplain's Office at Landstuhl Loves Soldiers' Angels, Too

Soldiers Angels by the Marines

Where is Noah?

National Guard loves Soldiers Angels

Scout Marvin and his 75 boxes for Landstuhl!

Have You Forgotten?

You don't see the images too much anymore, but this is how the War on Terror started:

This is what it looked like when our wake-up call came:

This is what it looked like when the War came to us:

and when we learned what "hero" meant:

And this is who to blame for it:

...not American capitalism, not American policy, not American anything. Why did 9/11 happen? Because a terrorist and twenty of his lunatic friends decided to murder nearly three thousand innocent people. Period.

In an instant, our world was different. And we had gone from a feeling of relative safety....

image courtesy of Space Imaging

to a place where we recognized the darkest side of human nature, and knew nothing would ever be the same.
image courtesy of Space Imaging

Another casualty of 9/11 was the childhood of the American conscience. Everything had changed, and our world, suddenly, was unrecognizable.

image courtesy of Space Imaging

Immediately after 9/11, we swore to avenge those we lost, and bring those responsible to justice.

We listened to a President respond to the worst terrorist attack anywhere, ever:

Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
We watched the rescue coverage, desperately hoping that survivors would be found. They weren't.

But oh, what heroes walked that ground.

Our President told us that the War on Terror had begun. He gave us his word that no resource would be spared in protecting our country. And we, as a nation, supported that. It was what we all wanted.

We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the destruction and to the defeat of the global terror network.

The President said something else, too. He said that we would not win quickly. That this War would have many fronts, sometimes unseen. That we would need to be willing to hunt terrorists down wherever we found them. That we would need to be willing to deal with those who provided safe haven, who fostered ideology.

Now, this war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with a decisive liberation of territory and a swift conclusion. It will not look like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were used and not a single American was lost in combat.

Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes visible on TV and covert operations secret even in success.

We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place until there is no refuge or no rest.

And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists.

From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice, we're not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans. Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security.

And we, as a nation, were glad. We, as a nation, wanted the murderers punished. We wanted those who murdered our fellow Americans dealt with.

But after a while, the pictures disappeared. The Trade Center was edited out of movies and the opening of tv shows...the "trauma" was too much. And so the images largely faded from memory.

With the anger.

And the resolve.

And the memory of all of that grief and fear.

America is resilient. She came back. Planes flew again, people travelled again, and somehow, they forgot.

Hollywood types said there was no terrorist threat. And there were no pictures on tv to counter that.

Still others said it was our fault. And there was no footage of people roaming the streets of New York, searching for innocents shown in a rumpled photograph, to counter that.

We went to a far-off land to hunt those responsible. We are still there.

We went to another land, one we'd seen before, to deal with a man who had defied the world for more than a decade, and who supported terrorism - as well as practiced it.

And sadly, it seems, we have forgotten. And some of us have decided that it is a war not worth fighting - at least not fully. Not the same war we supported four years ago. Because the pictures have faded from our minds, and planes are not being hurtled out of the sky. People are not jumping out of buildings in a desperate attempt to flee the hell inside.

It is almost like it never happened, except.....

In the name of all that died that day - so that we never feel the chill that swept over us one sunny morning in September, and took so long to leave - so that family members never again get a phone call from a loved one on a plane who knows that he or she is being murdered - so that no one needs to live in fear of radical, hate-filled, murderers who twist religion to suit their bloody need for control - we must NEVER FORGET.

It happened. It can happen again. We must take all available steps to protect our country. We must bear the price of doing so, painful as that sometimes is. We must support those who fight the battles for us. We must never be as naive and unprepared as we were that day.

We must Never...Ever....Forget.

9/11 on the Web (some sites may contain graphic images):
9/11 Digital Archive
List of Victims

Remember the Blood of Heroes
Space Imaging
A Tribute to America
We Will Never Forget

Please trackback, or add your favorite tribute link in the comments section.