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Mayor's Thames Festival, London

9/11 - Five Years Later

From Ceasbo:

32508055_f28f5bf5e0_b The image is still burned in my mind: a giant fireball and a black column of smoke billowing from the Pentagon.  The absolute silence, followed by thousands of screaming people running from the world's largest office building. Five years ago this morning, I was standing in the parking lot of the Pentagon just as American Airlines Flight #77 crashed into the building, killing 59 passengers on the plane at 125 people in the Pentagon.  Less than a month later, I was aboard the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier when the U.S. began bombing Afghanistan.

Strangely, my memories of Afghanistan are cloudy, but the sight, sounds and smells of the Pentagon burning is as clear as if it happened today.

39547211_925259684d Like many people, my life and career was drastically changed on 9.11.01.  I've been to Afghanistan (4 times) and Iraq (6 times), and returned home in one piece each time.  Many have not been so fortunate.  The death toll of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan has reached 2,998 (breakdown: 2,896 in Iraq; 331 in Afghanistan),  surpassing the 2,973 total killed on 9/11 at the World Trade Center, Pentagon and Pennsylvania.

Was it worth it and has it made a difference? Only history will be the true judge.