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Americans at their best

Editor's note: The story about a group of Marines – one of them an EMT – who gave their lives to save an Iraqi girl draws a strong connection between the levels of sacrifice that have occurred, and continue to occur, in the years since the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

This is an incredible story, and it's a good one for this week of tributes to the events of 9/11. For many people it's become a challenge to connect the attacks on the NYC, Washington and Shanksville to what we are doing in Afghanistan; the tincture of time has that effect.

My Thursday column will provide a few of my thoughts and emotions that are permanently tied to that tragic day. I've come to accept my anger and sorrow and it has helped me to recommit to my profession time and again.

Many incidents occur daily during combat. On occasion we hear about a specific situation, usually when our soldiers are killed or injured. Countless more stories are not being told, which makes this one especially poignant. In pursuit of justice for their fellow citizens, this particular combat group discovered the needs of an Iraqi child, and without hesitation made it their priority to mitigate. Most of them were killed in the process of successfully saving this one child.

I really can't think of a more heroic display of selflessness and loyalty to the human spirit. It's the best that Americans can show their fellow global citizens.

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