Why are we here?

  • Published
  • By Col. John M. Quinn
  • 319th Air Refueling Wing vice commander
I would like for each of you this morning to consider three questions or more appropriately one question three times. Why are we here?

Why are we here? We are here to remember those who lost their lives eight years ago today on Sept. 11, 2001, and those who continue to do so today combating terrorism around the world. We remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice, willingly or not. We mourn the loss of innocence in the world due to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and which continue today.

Why are we here? We are here to prosecute the Global War on Terror, attempt to bring those who committed and supported attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania to justice, and free those chained by despotic rulers. Each of us, no matter whether officer, enlisted, civilian has a small responsibility in holding accountable those responsible for the tragic events.

Why are we here? Eight years ago today, a line was carved in the landscape of New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Its ink was the blood of innocents. From wherever we came, this is why we are here now. It will be irrevocably linked to all those in history who follow us. And like those men and women who came before us, our legacy is to stand as a united front against darkness, against lawlessness and terrorism, against injustice and anarchy.

We are blessed with freedoms and opportunities in a diverse nation that is unimaginable by most of the rest of the world. With this good fortune comes great responsibility. If we do not stand in the face of the whirlwind brought by evil men, they win, we lose. To lose is not an option.

The people whose lives were taken away from them on Sept.11, 2001, all the way up to today, mattered. Their lives were cut short by people who do not respect the inherent value of life (even their own).

Today, and every day we wear the uniform, we honor the sacrifice of civilized citizens of the world who can no longer laugh and complain, smile or dream. For these people we must do better, fight harder, and never falter... and always remember those who gave their all.