Afghanistan: America’s Longest War Comes to a Close

Afghanistan: America's Longest War Comes to a Close

( – As Commanding Major General Christopher Donahue of the 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army stepped off the field in Afghanistan, America’s longest war ended after 20 years, almost to the day.

Since the US involvement in this conflict started so long ago, it might be difficult for some to remember what prompted it all in the first place. Especially those just learning about it through history books. Nevertheless, people must remember the past and learn from it, or they run the risk of repeating it in the future.

In the Beginning

On September 11, 2001, al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four flights in US airspace to kill as many innocent American citizens as possible. Two of the planes crashed into each of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York. The third crashed into the Pentagon and the fourth in Pennsylvania after brave patriots fought back for control, diverting it from its intended target — the White House or the Capitol.

After the towers fell and the rubble cleared, the death of 2,997 Americans rested squarely on the shoulders of al-Qaeda and the radical group’s leader, Osama bin Laden. The sitting commander-in-chief at the time, former President George W. Bush, swore revenge on those responsible for the senseless murders on the fateful morning as well as those who would go on to hide the terrorists from justice. That place happened to be Afghanistan, and the people who welcomed the extremists into the country were the Taliban.

Brave American troops stayed in the Middle Eastern country for the next two decades to exact justice on bin Laden, to rid the world of Islamic extremist groups, and to help the people of Afghanistan stand on their own against terrorist forces.

At the End

During their time there, the US did kill the terrorist leader responsible for 9/11, and selfless service members also fought extremism while preventing further attacks on the United States. But it was time for the troops to come home and let the country apply what they learned over the years.

Unfortunately, it only took days for the Taliban to overtake Afghanistan again. To many, it seemed to erase every ounce of energy patriotic soldiers spent to fight this war.

Never Forget

Despite that fact, the sacrifices made in the Middle East were not in vain. Brave men and women still fought for justice for thousands of innocent men and women who died on American soil back in 2001. Not only that, but they shared their knowledge with the Afghan people to rise up and fight for themselves.

Although losing Americans while completing this mission is devastating, US troops can stand proud for protecting the United States and fighting to make the world a better place for everyone.

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