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9/11, the high price of freedom

Don Addy (right), Colorado 30 Group chairman and Colorado National Defense Support Council chairman, and Airman Christian Mejia, 721st Security Forces Squadron, reflect upon the 9/11 artifact and memorial at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Sept. 11. The artifact contains a steal beam from the World Trade Center. Addy secured this artifact, along with seven others for the local area, during his time as president of the National Homeland Defense Foundation. The artifact was dedicated last year at the 10th anniversary ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Craig Denton)

Don Addy (right), Colorado 30 Group chairman and Colorado National Defense Support Council chairman, and Airman Christian Mejia, 721st Security Forces Squadron, reflect upon the 9/11 artifact and memorial at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station Sept. 11. The artifact contains a steal beam from the World Trade Center. Addy secured this artifact, along with seven others for the local area, during his time as president of the National Homeland Defense Foundation. The artifact was dedicated last year at the 10th anniversary ceremony. (U.S. Air Force photo/Craig Denton)

Col. Joe Turk, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station installation commander, speaks during the 9/11 Remembrance and Retreat ceremony held at CMAFS. During his speech, Turk called the audience to remember the nearly 3,000 people who died in the terrorist attacks in 2001 and the more than 2,000 Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Craig Denton)

Col. Joe Turk, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station installation commander, speaks during the 9/11 Remembrance and Retreat ceremony held at CMAFS. During his speech, Turk called the audience to remember the nearly 3,000 people who died in the terrorist attacks in 2001 and the more than 2,000 Americans who have made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Enduring Freedom. (U.S. Air Force photo/Craig Denton)

Members of the 721st Security Forces Squadron fold the flag during retreat at the Remembrance and Retreat ceremony Sept. 11, on Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. The ceremony commemorated the 11th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Craig Denton)

Members of the 721st Security Forces Squadron fold the flag during retreat at the Remembrance and Retreat ceremony Sept. 11, on Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. The ceremony commemorated the 11th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Craig Denton)

Members of the 721st Security Forces Squadron fold the flag during retreat at the Remembrance and Retreat ceremony Sept. 11, on Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. The ceremony commemorated the 11th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Craig Denton)

Members of the 721st Security Forces Squadron fold the flag during retreat at the Remembrance and Retreat ceremony Sept. 11, on Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station. The ceremony commemorated the 11th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. (U.S. Air Force photo/Craig Denton)

CHEYENNE MOUNTAIN AIR FORCE STATION, Colo. -- Freedom comes at a high price, and Americans were reminded of the cost of freedom 11 years ago on Sept. 11, 2001.

A remembrance and retreat ceremony was held Sept. 11 at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station to honor the 2,977 people from 93 nations who were killed in the terrorist attacks in 2001 and to pay tribute to the 2,114 Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice during Operation Enduring Freedom.

Col. Joe Turk, CMAFS installation commander, described 9/11 as "a defining day for our generation."

"On this day 11 years ago, terrorists executed unprovoked attacks on symbolic targets in the United States," Turk said. "Their goal was to change our way of life. Although they succeeded in their attacks, they failed in their objectives. They only strengthened our love of freedom and our resolve to defend it."

Since 9/11, millions of Americans have deployed around the world, Turk said. "We remember the rebirth of American pride that arose from that day and the understanding of all freedom loving people across the globe that freedom comes at a great cost," he said.

The event was held in front of the 9/11 artifact display, which was dedicated last year during the 10th anniversary ceremony. At the center of the display is a beam recovered from the World Trade Center. The beam is one of eight artifacts to be memorialized at each of the military installations in Colorado Springs and around the Colorado Springs area.

A retreat ceremony and the playing of "To the Colors" concluded the commemoration.

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