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Statements 2010

Remarks by U.S. Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry at the U.S. Embassy Commemoration of September 11

September 11, 2010 | Kabul, Afghanistan

Good Afternoon,

We come together today to remember September 11th, 2001. We recently gathered here to memorialize victims of the attack in Khost in December of last year. We begin every Country Team meeting by remembering the names of the fallen. Our sacrifices continue.

We will shortly observe a moment of silence at 5:16 pm, the time at which the first hijacked plane struck the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Sixteen minutes later, as we all vividly remember, a second jet hit the South Tower; a third flew into the Pentagon; and a fourth, owing to the bravery of its passengers and crew, crashed short of its target into a Pennsylvania field.

As a country we cannot let the passing years dull our memories. Many of us have personal recollections of September 11, 2001, and many more painful memories have been created since. As we now know, the events of that fateful day in September 2001 began here in Afghanistan. The Al Qaeda murderers gathered here to train. They gained a foothold in this country so that more terrorist acts could be launched from Afghan territory.

We are here in Afghanistan to prevent international terrorists from again establishing a safehaven for extremists who would plot to wreak havoc here in Afghanistan, America, and around the world. Today we remember how this conflict began. But let us also remember how this must end - with the United States of America secure from a repetition of such vicious terrorist assaults.

Our part of this task is to help Afghanistan achieve the stability, respected fair governance, economic well-being, and status in this part of the world so that international terrorists will find no ground on which to openly stand in this great country.

So, today, let us honor the memory of all of our fallen heroes, and in their honor recommit ourselves to the fight. Let us never forget, and let us do our utmost to succeed.