Sept. 11 galvanizes US troops in Afghanistan





Many of the troops at this sprawling U.S. air base were in their mid-teens when they watched the planes hit the World Trade Center's twin towers on television and vowed to join the military.

Eight years later, many of those who enlisted in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are now part of a massive military effort in Afghanistan that some are saying has no clear exit.

Remembrances of the attacks started at dawn Friday, with more than 1,000 service members donning shorts and sneakers to run exactly 9.11 kilometers (about 5.5 miles) to commemorate the day and remember troops who have died in the fighting since...

... At 5:16 p.m., the exact time in Afghanistan when the first of the two planes hit the World Trade Center in New York City, a ceremony began at Bagram with an officer reading a minute-by-minute timeline of events on that day. The base's U.S. flag fluttered at half-staff as more than 200 soldiers stood for the singing of "America the Beautiful" and the national anthem just ahead of sunset.

Navy Petty Officer 1 Casey Morgan told the crowd that she wasn't patriotic until the planes struck. Soon after, she looked at her job at a Waffle House and decided she wasn't doing enough for her country or herself, and joined up.

"My country was at war and I was serving waffles to stranded travelers," said the 25-year-old from Quantico, Virginia.

Ceremonies also were held at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul and at other U.S. military bases in Afghanistan...


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