MANHATTAN, N.Y. –
The U.S. Army Reserve’s 99th Readiness Division paid tribute to veterans Nov. 7 during a Salute to Service ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial Museum here.
Maj. Gen. Troy D. Kok, 99th DIV(R) commanding general, served as keynote speaker for the event, which was one of dozens of engagements held throughout the city as part of the U.S. Army’s Meet Your Army Week.
“What an honor and a privilege it is to swear in these young men and women into the greatest Army on the face of this earth,” said Kok of the recruits to whom he administered the Oath of Enlistment. “In 1982, I took the same oath that you’re going to take today, and it started me on an incredible journey.
“The Army is about opportunity – it’s about opportunity for our young men and women to grow and the opportunity to make themselves better,” he continued. “That’s what the Army gave me over 36 years ago, and it’s still an absolute honor to stand in front of you today.
“As you start your military careers, you continue the great legacy of what our military is about, what our freedoms are about, and what it means to serve,” he added.
The event was held at the National September 11 Memorial Museum, which serves as the country’s principal institution for examining the implications of the events of 9/11, documenting the impact of those events and exploring the continuing significance of Sept. 11, 2001.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, our country was attacked, and 3,000 of our citizens were killed here on this site,” Kok said. “Young men and women, such as those you see here today getting ready to take this oath, stood up to that call to service and left to fight our countries wars.
“We continue to serve, and we continue to fight our nation’s wars where our country needs us,” he added.
Kok also said that the Army’s greatest asset is its people, and asked all in attendance to be mindful of all the veterans who have served, and continue to serve, in the armed forces.
“World War I was supposed to be the ‘war to end all wars.’ As we’ve seen in the past 100 years, freedom is not free, and we continue to serve our nation around the world to protect our freedoms,” Kok said. “It is up to all of us as Americans to support what these young men and women are going to do.”