By Lea Johnson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. — Freedom comes at a high price, and Americans were reminded of the cost of freedom 11 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001.
A remembrance and retreat ceremony was held Sept. 11 at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station to honor the 2,977 people from 93 nations who were killed in the terrorist attacks in 2001 and to pay tribute to the 2,114 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Col. Joe Turk, CMAFS installation commander, described 9/11 as “a defining day for our generation.”
“On this day 11 years ago, terrorists executed unprovoked attacks on symbolic targets in the United States,” Turk said. “Their goal was to change our way of life. Although they succeeded in their attacks, they failed in their objectives. They only strengthened our love of freedom and our resolve to defend it.”
Since 9/11, millions of Americans have deployed around the world, Turk said. “We remember the rebirth of American pride that arose from that day and the understanding of all freedom loving people across the globe that freedom comes at a great cost,” he said.
The event was held in front of the 9/11 artifact display, which was dedicated last year during the 10th anniversary ceremony. At the center of the display is a beam recovered from the World Trade Center. The beam is one of eight artifacts to be memorialized at each of the military installations in Colorado Springs and around the Colorado Springs area.
A retreat ceremony and the playing of “To the Colors” concluded the commemoration.