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MILITARY MATTERS: 20 Years After 9-11, Gold Star families go to Infantry Museum to remember sacrifices made

Published: Sep. 16, 2021 at 1:39 AM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - More than 7,000 service members have laid down their lives since the September 11th attacks on America. And the National Infantry Museum hosted hundreds of those Gold Star families over the weekend, on the 20th anniversary of 9-11.

“There’s a very special bond between Gold Star families. You don’t have to say anything, you don’t have to ask any questions. We just look into each other’s eyes and see each other’s 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,” Gold Star widow Jennie Taylor told News Leader 9.

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

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

National Infantry Museum officials are trying to make sure it never will, as they marked two decades since 9/11. With a 13-foot steel beam taken from the wreckage of the World Trade Center towering above them at NIM, more than 400 Gold Star families -- whose loved one in uniform paid the ultimate sacrifice -- gathered at the museum, to honor their legacy.

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

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

Both Taylor and Olsen say they traveled from Utah to take part in the Infantry Museum’s Global War on Terrorism Memorial rededication. The names of 11 more fallen soldiers will be etched into the marble black granite memorial -- to join the other 7000+ names of men and women who have given their lives in fighting terror since September 11, 2001.

And the message from these Gold Star families: “Everyone of them deserve to know, that you and I are as dedicated to them as we are to each other.”

The weekend of events for Gold Star families gave them an opportunity to meet each other, share stories, and show support.

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