KRDA President / CEO Brig. Gen. (Ret) Jim Iacocca was asked to provide brief remarks at the beginning of monthly luncheon of the Hardin County Chamber of Commerce.
His words were tremendously moving so we wanted to share them below.
Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,
Brian Kerr asked me to say a few words about 9 -11 – where I was and what it means to me. Like everyone in this room I know you remember exactly where you were at 8:45 that Tuesday morning. I was fortunate enough to be in an organization that would be the first to bring justice to those who harbored the terrorists.
I was in my office as the Adjutant of a special operations unit at Fort Bragg North Carolina doing the normal stuff an adjutant does in a special operations organization – focus on manning the force. I went to see my boss when the second plane struck and we knew we were about to get very focused and very busy. I remember the sense of anger and frustration as we watched this unfold but powerless – for now – to do anything about it. Unlike the day prior when all posts were open to the public, Fort Bragg immediately shut the gates and I spent the night at the office. I am glad I stayed at the office because there was an 8-hour delay to get on post the next day – most did not make it to work. The team of special operators began preparations and in October executed the longest air assault in military history and struck a compound deep in Afghanistan. The operators left police and firefighter patches from New York City all over the compound to let others know they were there.
So what does 9-11 mean to me – it is a heightened day of remembrance for those Soldiers who died in the Pentagon – many of them were my friends – if you recall when the plane hit the Pentagon it struck the very center of the Army G1 organization and as a personnel officer I knew many of them personally but all of them by reputation. It is also a day to remember the involuntary great sacrifice of all the civilians who died in the World Trade Centers and the unselfish sacrifices of the heroic first responders who rushed in to help – many sacrificing their own lives. And the heroic efforts of the passengers on flight 93 who forced their plane to crash in a field in Pennsylvania rather than allow it to strike another terrorist target. And finally this day, it is a reminder of all that is great about our nation – service, sacrifice and patriotism – that our nation can and will rise to the challenge.
Thanks for allowing me to share a few thoughts. God bless you and God Bless America.