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Sept. 11 Anniversary Message to the Armed Forces from the Secretary of Defense

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2002 – Today, Americans everywhere are pausing to remember September 11th of last year -- a day forever etched in our minds and on our hearts.

While the dimensions of the tragedy were profound to be sure, so too was the outpouring of patriotism that united our people. Heroes arose among us who rescued the wounded, comforted the dying, and went to war to defend the freedoms Americans hold dear.

You can be proud of what has been accomplished thus far.

Afghanistan has been transformed from a pariah state, where terrorists were trained and hatred exported, to a land liberated from brutality and oppression. Some 90 nations -- nearly half the world -- have joined us in the fight.

But notwithstanding the many accomplishments, we are still closer to the beginning of this war than to its end. Victory will take patience and courage. But we will prevail. We will prevail because our cause is just-and our nation is blessed with the greatest Armed Force on the face of the earth.

Thank you for all you have done, and continue to do, for our country and for the world.

Donald H. Rumsfeld

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