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Little Rock Freedom Walk Offers Time for Reflection, Resolve

By Tech. Sgt. Arlo Taylor, USAF
Special to American Forces Press Service

LITTLE ROCK, Ark., Sept. 11, 2006 – Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee led Little Rock’s Freedom Walk today, marking the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the United States.

Click photo for screen-resolution image
Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee (center) leads walkers in observance of the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks during a Freedom Walk in Little Rock, Ark. Photo by Senior AIrman Jacqueline Hawkins, USAF
  

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

The Freedom Walk was established Sept. 11, 2005, as an opportunity to reflect on the lives lost Sept. 11 and to honor U.S. military members past and present and pay tribute to emergency responders who put their lives on the line every day.

Little Rock’s Freedom Walk was among more than 130 local Freedom Walks being held today and this past weekend throughout the United States.

Huckabee, joined by representatives from the military, police, fire and emergency response organizations, called today’s event a reminder of the resolve and spirit of America and the freedom all Americans share.

“The most important thing we have to do is remember that we can’t keep people from hating us or attacking us,” he said. “But we can keep from succumbing to the real hope of terrorism, and that is, we cease being a people who love our freedom and value our liberties and are willing to fight hard to keep them.”

“Today was a great day to remember how we felt that day, but (also) five years later, how we still love our country and are willing to fight for it and preserve our freedom,” he said.

The governor said the events of that day also brought into focus the sacrifices of the men and women serving in police, fire department, emergency response and military uniforms.

“One of the things 9/11 taught us was that we had failed to give the proper level of appreciation and honor and respect for those in uniform,” the governor said. “There were many people who ran to the World Trade Center with cameras so they could see, but those in uniform ran to the World Trade Center to save lives. We saw there was a real difference between those who go to see something and those who go to serve and save lives.”

The Arkansas state adjutant general, Army Maj. Gen. Ron Chastain, called Sept. 11 a reminder of the country’s unity and strength, as well as the sacrifices of local, federal and military members who work to keep its citizens safe.

“Sept. 11, 2001, changed everything, and the United States has changed,” he said. “We’ve advanced in the war on terror and we have great Americans fighting everyday to protect our freedoms.”

(Tech. Sgt. Arlo Taylor serves with 314th Airlift Wing Public Affairs.)

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