In 12 years of fighting, America has mourned more than 9,600 people killed on 9/11 and in the two wars that followed.
On Wednesday, one more death was noted in Solider's Memorial Chapel on Fort Carson - a soldier killed in Afghanistan, who was raised from boyhood in a nation at war.
Staff Sgt. Joshua J. Bowden, 28, was attending Robert S. Alexander High School in Georgia when terrorists struck the World Trade Center and Pentagon. He joined the Army four years later and volunteered for a notoriously dangerous job - defusing roadside bombs that were killing so many of his countrymen in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Bowden approached the nerve-fraying job with a smile on his face
"There were a lot of fun times with him," said Staff Sgt. Daryl Shockey, a fellow bomb disposal technician in the Fort Carson's 71st Ordnance Group.
Embarking on his second trip to Afghanistan earlier this year, Bowden added some accessories to his pack of Army gear - a wide festive sombrero and a mullet wig.
They were souvenirs of good times with his friends, including a legendary, if ill-remembered bar crawl along Tejon Street before his unit headed to war.
Bowden knew how to raise hell, and he also knew when to buckle down.
"He was the kind of soldier every commander wishes to have," Capt. Jeremy Tullis, Bowden's company commander wrote in a letter from Afghanistan that was read at the service.
Tullis said Bowden was expert at bomb disposal, a job that requires a mix of extreme caution and patience with fearlessness.
"No one had to ask Josh to take charge," Tullis wrote.
The military recognized Bowden's qualities, giving him the Joint Service Commendation Medal, Bronze Star and Defense Meritorious Service Medal.
Bowden had also earned the Purple Heart for wounds suffered in combat.
Bowden is survived by his wife April and their son Kaden.
He died Aug. 31 after he was hit be enemy gunfire in Ghazni Province, south of Kabul.
Eulogist Staff Sgt. Scott Cotner said Bowden died doing what he wanted to do.
"Josh died a warrior and that's something you can all be proud of," Cotner said.
In the chapel there was no acknowledgement of the service's coincidental date.
Other services throughout the region marked the attack anniversary.
The only mention of history came as chaplain Maj. Richard Graves mentioned all the mourning that Soldiers Memorial Chapel has seen since war began.
"It has become all too familiar over the past 12 years," he said.
Bowden's service lasted 15 minutes, including a rifle salute and the playing of "Taps".
Friends say he'll be remembered immeasurably longer.
"Josh was of one of a kind," Cotner said.