Honoring The Heroes Who Supported Afghanistan's Pursuit of Peace and Security

Posted by David Baker
March 24, 2015
Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Afghan CEO Abdullah Abdullah and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, Attend Wreath Laying Ceremony At The Tomb Of The Unknowns
Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Afghan CEO Abdullah Abdullah and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, Stand Together At A Wreath Laying Ceremony At The Tomb Of The Unknowns
Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, Afghan CEO Abdullah Abdullah and Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, Participate In A Wreath Laying Ceremony At The Tomb Of The Unknowns
Member of the Honor Guard Stands At Attention During A Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns

Afghan President Ghani, Chief Executive Abdullah, Vice President Biden, and Secretary of Defense Ash Carter paid tribute to the men and women in uniform during a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns monument in Arlington National Cemetery.  Yesterday, Secretary Kerry and Secretary Carter welcomed members of the Afghan government with an enhanced honor cordon at the Pentagon.

President Ghani thanked the Americans who have supported Afghanistan’s pursuit of peace and security: 

"First of all, again, I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the men and women in uniform who have done the ultimate sacrifice:  2,215 Americans have lost – members of the armed forces have lost their lives; numerous members of the Secret Service and civilians.  They will be part of our enduring memories, and we pay tribute to them.  Equally, over 20,000 American military members have been wounded in action.  We pray for their recovery and we hope that their families will recover from the trauma."

"American troops – around 850,000 plus contractors -- have gotten to know us in ways that very few people have known our country.  They know locations that most Afghans probably don’t.  They served in the highest peaks, in the most difficult deserts, and the barest of places with the minimum -- with minimum support structures.  But what they brought was a difference in attitude.  We Afghans are fiercely proud, but we always know the difference between those who come in anger and those who come to support us."

President Ghani added, “This is a foundational relationship, and we are very proud that this relationship will be transformed into an enduring relationship.”

A wreath laying ceremony is marked by a high degree of ritual and joint service participation. A visiting head of state will pay formal respects to the sacrifice of America's veterans in foreign wars by placing a wreath before the Tomb.  

About the Author: David Baker serves as a Desk Officer for Afghanistan at the Department of State.  He served as an Army Captain in Afghanistan.

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Patrick W.
|
Maryland, USA
March 25, 2015
We should also honor the men and women who continue to support the freedoms of the people in Afghanistan and Iraq. People like David Baker who served his country in Afghanistan and now at the Department of State as a Desk Officer for Afghanistan and it's people. Nice post ... :)

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