Today President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry marked fifteen years since the terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and United Airlines Flight 93.
Speaking on behalf of the State Department, Secretary Kerry said, “the men and women of the U.S. Department of State join with our fellow citizens and with people across the globe, in remembering those who died on those two tragic days and in re-dedicating ourselves to a world where justice prevails over evil and civility wins out over bigotry and hate.”
Secretary Kerry also acknowledged that citizens from more than sixty countries perished in the strikes on the World Trade Center. According to Secretary Kerry, the toll of this tragedy reflects “the inter-connected nature of modern society and the need to persist in our comprehensive and united response to the global threat posed by violent extremist groups.” Kerry also noted that in the years following September 11th, the United States has worked diligently with international partners to defeat terrorists by targeting their networks, finances, and leadership.
In remembering September 11, Secretary Kerry reminded us to recall how tragedy can bring us together. “For us, as a nation, the hours and days after September 11, 2001 remain seared into our minds. It was a time when we came together as one, with flags unfurled in every community, strangers greeting strangers as friends, comforting loved ones, vowing -– even as we grieved –- not to rest until those who had harmed our nation and its people were held accountable. It was the worst day we had ever witnessed, but it brought out the best in us all,” said Secretary Kerry.
During remarks at the September 11th Memorial Observance Ceremony, President Obama stated, “we remember, and we will never forget, the nearly 3,000 beautiful lives taken from us so cruelly — including 184 men, women and children here, the youngest just three years old. We honor the courage of those who put themselves in harm’s way to save people they never knew. We come together in prayer and in gratitude for the strength that has fortified us across these 15 years. And we renew the love and the faith that binds us together as one American family.”
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