Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan
At approximately 0845 hours Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, 11 September 2001, a commercial airplane crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. At that time, the severity of the incident, the numbers of people involved, and the reason for the crash were all unknown. Shortly after 0900 hours, a second plane hit the south tower of the World Trade Center.
Around 1000 hours, reports came in that another commercial plane hit the Pentagon, in Washington, DC, and a fourth commercial plane was downed in Somerset County, PA, about 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. Shortly after 1000 hours the south tower of the World Center collapsed. Within the next half-hour, the northern tower of the World Trade Center also collapsed. At approximately 1730 hours a third tower in the World Trade Center complex, Building #7, also collapsed. Wednesday evening, September 12, another building within the World Trade Center Complex collapsed.
After the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the United States military entered into a "War against global terrorism." The President began the US response in the War on Terrorism with the stroke of his pen to seize terrorists' financial assets and disrupt their fundraising network. Unlike most previous conflicts, this war was being fought on both domestic and foreign soil. Deployment of American troops to southwest Asia and countries surrounding Afghanistan came in the days following the attacks.
The military response to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States was assigned the name Operation Enduring Freedom.
OEF commenced on 7 October 2001.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
At 9:34 PM EST on March 19, 2003 (5:34 AM local time in Baghdad on March 20), United States and United Kingdom forces consisting of 40 cruise missiles and strikes led by 2 F-117s from the 8th Fighter Squadron (supported by Navy EA-6B Prowlers) and other aircraft began conducting military operations against the state of Iraq designed to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction and to remove the Iraqi Regime from power. Less than two hours after a deadline expired for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq, the sound of air raid sirens were heard in Baghdad. A short time later, President Bush addressed the American public stating that coalition forces were in the "early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger."
The military objectives of Operation Iraqi Freedom consist of first, ending the regime of Saddam Hussein. Second, to identify, isolate and eliminate, Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. Third, to search for, to capture and to drive out terrorists from the country. Fourth, to collect intelligence related to terrorist networks. Fifth, to collect such intelligence as is related to the global network of illicit weapons of mass destruction. Sixth, to end sanctions and to immediately deliver humanitarian support to the displaced and to many needed citizens. Seventh, to secure Iraq's oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi people. Finally, to help the Iraqi people create conditions for a transition to a representative self-government.
Operation Iraqi Freedom consisted of the largest special operations force since the Vietnam War. While the vast majority of special operations forces were American, the United Kingdom and the Australian militaries also provided forces.
This Memorial is for those souls that have never come home from those 'Forward' positions.
It is with great hope that the days past will soon come to a close & all our people, in this country, can sleep in their own beds. Until that day comes there will be more souls that wont come home & there will be more memorials like this. So please take a moment to sit here & reflect. Maybe say a prayer for those no longer with us & a 'thank you' for what they have done & given.