On September 11, 2001, a radical ideology of oppression attacked a land of freedom and hope. As we witnessed cowardly acts of evil followed by selfless acts of heroism, we saw the worst of the world and the very best of America.
The struggle that began ten years ago continues today, and as we reflect on the many lives that were lost, the families who deeply miss their loved ones, and those who searched for and saved the wounded, we also focus on the 9/11 Generation that has been fighting ever since.
Our profound gratitude goes to more than 2 million service members who have fought in foreign lands and wear the wounds of combat so that we might never know another day like September 11. For the 6,200 service members who gave all on the field of battle, we have an obligation to carry the torch of freedom that they so bravely defended, and we owe a debt to their families that cannot be repaid.
Due to the unwavering resolve of the U.S. military and intelligence communities, this anniversary bears a special significance as it’s our first since the chief perpetrator of the attacks, Osama bin Laden, was brought to justice. This serves as a powerful reminder to those who threaten terror against the United States that we will never relent until justice has been done.
But for today, we pause and keep close to our hearts the memory of the victims of September 11 and the brave Americans who, in the years since, have given their last full measure of devotion to defend our shores.