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Allen’s statement on the departure of the fallen

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I’ve just returned to my headquarters from saying farewell to our American and Afghan partners who just days ago gave their last full measure of devotion in the cause of the freedom of Afghanistan. Today, we honor the lives and service of our brave Americans and their valiant Afghan brothers in arms, who fought courageously against the enemies of the freedom and security of both our nations. In life they were comrades in arms, and in death they are bound forever in this vital cause. We cherish this selfless sacrifice.

We also pay our condolences to the families and friends of those who died, who have lost so much, and pledge to support them through these difficult days ahead. They too have made enormous sacrifices, and we also honor them as we move forward.

Today, as we pay our respects to these magnificent troops, we re-commit ourselves for the future, and for the freedom, peace and stability of Afghanistan. We will continue to relentlessly pressure the enemy and we will continue to develop the Afghan National Security Forces so that on their strong, broad shoulders they can defeat this insurgency and bring lasting and enduring peace to this historic land and this great people. We will continue to stand by our commitments today and into the future. We will prevail.

At times such as these, I’m reminded of the poignant lines of Laurence Binyon’s powerful World War I poem, “For the Fallen.”

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

We will remember them … we will prevail.

Gen. John R. Allen
Commander
International Security Assistance Force

Article by ISAF Joint Command