Colonel John Mulholland 

American Embassy - Kabul, Afghanistan

5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) 

0340 Hrs EST - 17 December 2001

 Col Mulholland


5th Special Forces Group

US Embassy Stars And Strips that was taken down by Marine 30 January 1989, re-flown today 17 December 2001

 Col Mulholland's Speech


I am privileged and honored today to speak here at this great occasion, to see the Stars and Strips once again fly over the American Embassy here in Kabul.  

I represent a distinguished, extraordinary group of men and women who have worked extraordinarily hard under difficult conditions to play a small roll in this day events, to represent a group of men and women whose motto is “De Oppresso Libre” which means,  “To Liberate the Oppressed”  We have been privileged and honored to fight and continue to fight along side our Afghan brothers to see that, that motto becomes a reality here in Afghanistan, for these people who have suffered so long under such tyranny, I am very much privileged to work along such fantastic people from my own government and from the Afghan people.

On behalf of all the soldiers, I also wish to extend our sincere feelings of brother hood and camaraderie to our firefighters of New York, to the police men of New York and to our brothers at the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

Ladies and Gentlemen I would ask you to share a Moment of Silence with me in memory of the countless innocent Afghanis who have suffered so long and for the fallen in New York and in Washington and for the fallen of the 5th Special Forces Group who gave their lives that this day may become a reality. 

 Thank you very much.

"De Oppresso Libre"


A veteran Special Forces soldier waits quietly with the Stars and Stripes under his arm as the soldiers gather from around Kabul. afg1215i.jpg (27233 bytes)
afg1215f.jpg (33355 bytes) Marking the moment for history, a Special Forces soldier holds a sign commemorating three fallen friends and fellow soldiers as others hold the U.S. flag in the background.
Reflecting quietly just before dawn, a Special Forces soldier waits for the ceremony to begin. afg1215h.jpg (26002 bytes)
afg1215d.jpg (29749 bytes)
A pair of B-52 bombers cut sunrise-tinted contrails across the sky over the still-unfolding battle around Jalalabad as a group of Special Forces soldiers gather around their own green battle colors at the U.S. embassy in Kabul.
Special Forces members prepare to raise the flag. afg1215g.jpg (27960 bytes)
afg1215c.jpg (23021 bytes) A cordon of 5th Special Forces Group soldiers honor their dead as the Stars and Stripes is run up the flagpole at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul for the first time in 12 years.
The First American Rises over the US Embassy in over 12 years

U.S. Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan
December, 2001

Photos by Jon R. Anderson, Stars and Stripes


afg1215b.jpg (28908 bytes)
afg1215a.jpg (33203 bytes) Carrying a simple sign and the tools of their trade, a group of Special Forces soldiers gather to honor their dead.

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