Throughout this weekend, 10 years after September 11, 2001, Americans of all ages have gathered, in the words of former President George W. Bush, to “honor the memory of the 11th day.”
There have been and will be solemn observances at the Pentagon 9/11 Memorial in Washington, D.C., at the dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, and at the dedication of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.
From west to east, from north to south, Americans do their duty as citizens and come together again, like we did 10 years ago, like we always have, and like we always will.
For this generation, there was never a more powerful time to be an American. To this very day, while September 11th evokes such a difficult mix of emotions, one of the most powerful feelings of all remains this one: we are Americans and above all else, in the toughest of times, we will stand together in aid, in comfort, and in resolve.
So we pay tribute, again, to the amazing bravery, courage and selflessness of the rescue and recovery workers – those who gave their lives, and those who spent week after week after week at Ground Zero in homage to the ultimate sacrifice of their fellow men and women.
We reaffirm our pride in this nation’s servicemen and servicewomen, and we keep in our thoughts and prayers those young men and women whom we’ve lost from here at home – including Devin Snyder, Zachary Smith and, most recently, Christopher Scott.
As a nation, we are still healing from the September 11, 2001 attacks – that process goes on like never before this weekend as we remember that America’s fundamental values cannot be overcome.
So I’m grateful for this opportunity to join all of you in recalling how so many emergency services volunteers, not-for-profit organizations, school classrooms, business leaders and individual citizens and communities from across the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions responded in such positive, uplifting ways in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
I’m grateful for this opportunity to remember how so many of this nation’s citizens, young and old, from all walks of life and all stations, responded to one of America’s darkest days with a powerful, enduring determination to help our nation recover and rebuild – and how, to this very day, this memory serves to remind us that even in the toughest of times, Americans face a future of hope, that the fundamental American values of decency, determination, fortitude, generosity and strength will help us carry on and keep this region, this state, and our nation strong.