It is with heavy hearts that we think back on the events of 9/11. The images of that day are seared into our minds. Many of us remember the feeling of gloom that day. To many people, it seemed that we might never experience peace and security again.
How grateful we are for the American heroes that helped us that day and in the days that followed, from the ordinary citizens who made the bold decision to fight the terrorist who had taken over the cockpit of their flight—to the firefighters and other public safety workers who rushed into the flaming towers—to the military heroes who fought to protect us in the hours and days and years that followed.
It is thanks to heroes like those that we are able to stand here today—20 years later—in an America that has not been overcome by terrorism and darkness but instead remains a land of liberty and safety.
So today, we express our gratitude, to ordinary citizens who work heroically hard, to public safety workers who continue to risk their lives for us, to our brave military personnel, and to many, many others who play a critical role in our safety and wellbeing.
But we also pause today to express our thanks to powers that are greater than any human’s. From the beginning, this has been a country that trusts in and relies on more than human power. In America, it is “in God we trust.” So allow me to also express the thanks that so many of us have in our hearts . . . to God, for blessing us through our darkest days and helping to bring us safely to this moment.
May we never forget the dark days of September 11. May we never forget the vital importance of the heroes who protect us. And at the same time, may we always remember the importance of the Divine in protecting each of us and this nation.
Will you now please join me in a moment of silence for those who lost their lives in the events of September 11th.