Mission Complete - Mission Ready
Thirteen years after the attacks on the United States and her allies at the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and over the skies of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the fight against radical ideologies and terrorism is transitioning. The military mission in Iraq transitioned to the Department of State at the conclusion of 2011 and the military mission in Afghanistan is preparing to transition over to the Department of State by the close of 2014. America's fighting men and women are coming home to reunite with loved ones and a renewed nation to celebrate a "Mission Complete" - all the while remaining "Mission Ready" for any future contingency.
The U.S. Army War College Distance Education Program Class of 2014 commemorates the successful transitions with this painting. The class dedicates it to all those who have been and continue to be integral in maintaining a safe and secure nation and world. The subjects in this painting are representative of not only all the services of the U.S. Armed Forces, but also include the wounded warrior, those who went above and beyond, and those who will continue to guard our Nation's harbors and skies. The subjects stand together as a united team in front of a renewed New York City skyline anchored with the new One World Trade Center tower also referred to as The Freedom Tower. The left and right images recognize the significant differences between Iraq and Afghanistan's operating environments. Aircraft and vessels above and in the harbor represent the ever present vigilance of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Air National Guard against future threats. The Moran Tug (M) in the painting commemorates decades of citizen volunteers and partners in national security and in particular the many vessels involved in the evacuation of thousands of New Yorkers on September 11, 2001.