Many members of the new senior class in America’s high schools were just infants 17 years ago on September 11, 2001. Some weren’t even born yet. They don’t have any memory of the terrorist attacks on that crisp, blue Tuesday morning in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.
These new high school seniors have lived through a rapidly evolving time, during which evolving technology has changed the way we communicate, the way we buy products, how we travel, and even how we listen to music. In Lower Manhattan, city blocks destroyed in the attacks have transformed into a beautiful memorial and museum, as well as thriving centers of commerce.
Despite the changes, one thing has remained constant for this generation and the rest of America. Since this date, 17 years ago, our military has in some capacity or another been involved in the War on Terror: a complex, deadly, and often borderless struggle against violent extremists.
In the years immediately following the terrorist attacks, our country rallied behind the men and women of our military as they ventured into a new kind of war. The number of deployed troops at any given time has increased and decreased as America and our allies have made advances and scored victories against terrorist groups.
But deployments remain a reality for hundreds of thousands of brave men and women—and their families—every year. We need to continue to care for them.
If you are old enough to recall the horrific events of September 11, 2001, we ask that you remember that the fight for peace and freedom is ongoing.
In 2004, Brittany and Rob Bergquist, then ages 13 and 12, decided to start Cell Phones For Soldiers, after seeing a news report about a local Soldier who got slammed with an exorbitant cell phone bill during his deployment. Since that date, Cell Phones For Soldiers has provided more than 350 million minutes of free talk time through calling cards for the troops, and recycled more than 15 million cell phones and mobile devices. With the help of generous donors, our mission continues.
The Global War on Terror has been a fact of life for nearly two decades. Soon enough, some of our country’s high school seniors will graduate and join the ranks of the world’s greatest military as it continues to fight back against terrorism, and we will be behind them with our support and gratitude.