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National Infantry Museum honors Gold Star families

Published: Sep. 12, 2021 at 11:48 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Since the attacks on America September 11th, 2001, more than 7,000 service members have laid down their lives. Saturday, the National Infantry Museum in Columbus honored their sacrifice on the 20th anniversary of the day that changed Americans lives forever.

“There’s a very special bond between Gold Star families,” said Jennie Taylor. “You don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to ask any questions. We just look into each others eyes and see each others hearts and realize, we’ve all been there. We’ve all received a knock on the door. We’ve all buried a flag-draped casket and we’re all here because we love someone who loves this country.”

Saturday, September 11, 2021 marked 20 years since an attack on America that rocked the nation to its core. The events would set in motion the nation’s longest war in Afghanistan.

“Today’s a day that shaped the rest of my life, and my children’s lives forever. September 11, 20 years ago, I had no idea what an impact it would have now,” Taylor said.

“I think this day should never be forgotten,” said Kim Olsen.

And National Infantry Museum officials are trying to make sure it never will.

On this year’s anniversary of 9/11, over 400 Gold Star families, families whose loved ones paid the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives for their country, gathered at the National Infantry Museum to honor their legacy.

“Our son, Lance Corporal Nigel Olsen, was killed in Afghanistan in 2010,” Olsen said.

“And I am the gold star widow of Major Brent Taylor, killed in action November 3, 2018,” Taylor said.

Both Jennie Taylor and Kim Olsen say they traveled from Utah to take part in the National Infantry Museum’s Global War on Terrorism Memorial rededication.

The names of 11 fallen soldiers will be etched into the marble black granite memorial, joining the other 7,000 plus names of men and women who are honored at the museum.

“And everyone of them deserve to know, that you and I are as dedicated to them as we are to each other.”

The National Infantry Museum planned weekend-long events for Gold Star families. Organizers say it gives them an opportunity to meet each other, share stories, and show support.

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