As we remember the awful moments and recall the unnerving images as well as the accompanying feelings, we grieve for the loss of our loved ones, the innocent victims, and our fellow Americans, who withstood the cowardly attacks.
While we give pause in realizing the solemnity of this anniversary, it is important to recognize what has emerged for this nation as a consequence. There was the impossible valor of New York’s Police Department, the unsurpassed courage of New York’s Fire Department and its Paramedics, and the unfaltering fortitude of New York’s Port Authority which, not knowing what lay ahead, rushed in to save the lives of those in greatest need. They would not be deterred.
Emergency responders, from New York to Shanksville to DC, and all across the country, had faith in the face of terror that something needed to be done. Those brave souls maintained the deepest of desires, resolving to know the moral difference between inaction and action, even if at the expense of their likely peril.
We know by the countless actions of responders and the innumerable selfless acts by ordinary citizens that there was no doubt and no question of a purposeful unity, as everyday individuals and citizens came together through heroic feats.
As we look back ten years ago, it should be impossible to forget that what bounded us then remains very much with us still today. We are indebted to the selfless sacrifice of friends, neighbors, and those bravest amongst us who leapt into action in hopes of saving others.
It is here and now, at this decade mark of remembrance, that the bond of yesterday stares us in the face again. It is the memory of that day and the examples borne in moments of unwarranted hardships, which provide us all the strength and a reservoir of true grit enabling a renewed sense of purpose, determination, and desire to ensure freedom prevails over the tyranny of terror.
The memory of those lost, the legacy of America’s resilience, and the heroism of many are carried by us today, united as one nation, one voice, and one undeterred people.
And to those who serve on the frontlines of the global war on terrorism, the intelligence professional, the national security worker and all members of the United States military, we thank you for your continued service and for keeping us safe.