This week, we honor the 2,977 lives claimed by the brutal attacks of September 11th, 2001. Americans that awoke that day never anticipating the attack on their place of work or against this country. Innocents from all walks of American life but hailed from 90 different nations. Heroism and compassion were boundless on 9/11. And after that, Patriots from all backgrounds and walks of life responded with speed, courage, and compassion to their fellow Americans.
In the aftermath of the attacks, our nation rallied together in times unlike any other that I have seen in my life. Many were answering the call in the military service, reminiscent of times in our history back to World War II. So today, we remember those that we lost in New York City and the somber fields of Pennsylvania and the strategic calls of the Pentagon. And the many more lives that have been lost about fields of Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, and many others since.
We're mindful and resolute that all of their deaths, just like their lives, shall continue to have meaning to all Americans. And since 9/11, there have been 8,000 military members, DOD Civilians, US Military Contractors, all US citizens that have likewise paid the ultimate price for our freedom on the battlefield.
While at the same time, 16,000 more military service members have lost their lives relating to substance abuse, military training and exercise, and motor vehicle accidents. Meanwhile, during that same stretch of 20 years, approximately 130,000 veterans have been lost to suicide in this country. Please let that number sink in. The cost of war on our warriors continues to add up each day.
To the families of those who have perished, to those that we've lost in Iraq and Afghanistan since, and especially to those warriors that, although they've survived on the battlefield, continue to struggle here at home— The Warrior Connection wants you to know that your service matters. Your life matters. And specifically, asking for help is not cowardice. That's true courage. So if you're a military veteran or military spouse and you need some help, know that The Warrior Connection is here for you today and every day.