11, 2015 -
The United States and the world remember this day as 14
years ago, terror from the most unexpected quarter hit
the United States. The true figures of death and injury
still not that certain. President Obama makes a
Declaration. September 9 would now be observed in the US
as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and
US President Barack Obama has today made
a declaration that
honours the memory of all those who perished and those
still living with the trauma of either having lost a
loved one or have to live with the resultant trauma of
that Tuesday attack 14 years ago. In making the
Declaration the US President stated, among other things
"On September 11, 2001, America
experienced the worst terrorist attack in her history
when nearly 3,000 men, women, and children were taken
from us, leaving their families and our Nation with a
void that can never be filled. But those who brought
hate to our shores and smoke to our skies did not expect
our country to emerge stronger, and our beacons of hope
and freedom to shine brighter as a result.
In the years since, we have stood
strong as one people ‑‑ determined to further embolden
our country's character with acts of endurance and
strength; rebuilding and resilience; renewal and
progress. In remembrance of the innocent victims who
lost their lives and in honor of the families they left
behind, let us continue to answer these heinous acts by
serving our communities, lifting the lives of our fellow
citizens, and spreading the hope that others tried to
dim that day.
The compassion that rose in the hearts and minds of the
American people on September 11 still serves as the
ultimate rebuke to the evil of those who attacked us.
First responders who risked and gave their lives to
rescue others demonstrated the unwavering heroism that
defines our great Nation.
Volunteers donated time, money, and
blood to ensure wounds gave way to healing and recovery.
Young people, raised until then in a time of peace,
stepped forward to serve and defend us, and meet the
threats of our time. And people from across our country
and the world joined together in the days that followed
to stand up and turn toward one another with open arms,
making of a tragedy something the terrorists could never
abide ‑‑ a tribute of hope over fear, and love over
Today, we continue our unfaltering
march forward, enduring in the perennial optimism that
drives us and brightening the light that the darkness of
evil can never overcome.
We remember and yearn for the presence
of the beautiful lives lost, and we recommit to honoring
their memories by shaping the days to come ‑‑ in as
stark a contrast as possible to those who took them from
us ‑‑ with courage, liberty, and love.
By a joint resolution approved December 18, 2001 (Public
Law 107-89), the Congress has designated September 11 of
each year as "Patriot Day," and by Public Law 111-13,
approved April 21, 2009, the Congress has requested the
observance of September 11 as an annually recognized
"National Day of Service and Remembrance."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United
States of America, do hereby proclaim September 11,
2015, as Patriot Day and National Day of Service and
I call upon all departments, agencies,
and instrumentalities of the United States to display
the flag of the United States at half-staff on Patriot
Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance in honor
of the individuals who lost their lives on September 11,
US Secretary of State John Kerry
has this reminder -
"September 11 is a date seared into
the minds of all of us at the U.S. Department of State
and of citizens across America.
Together, we honor the memory of the
men, women, and children murdered in 2001. And we will
never forget those who died three years ago in Libya:
Ambassador Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Glen Doherty, and
Each was a brave and dedicated
professional; each was deeply committed to service on
our country’s behalf; and each sought nothing more nor
less than to help people overseas to live in freedom,
dignity, and peace. Their example remains before us and
– on this sad anniversary – our thoughts and prayers are
with their families.
This week also marks the opening to the public of the
Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset, Pennsylvania.
The selfless heroism of the passengers on that flight
saved many lives and serves as a permanent inspiration
never to accept evil or to allow those driven by hate to
achieve their goals. For that reason, there is no better
day than September 11 to continue fulfilling our
responsibilities in the home, workplace, classroom, and
There is also no better time to move
ahead with the business of American diplomacy – the
unrelenting pursuit of peace, prosperity, human rights,
and security in all its dimensions.
Friends and adversaries alike should
understand: the United States will never be intimidated
by terrorists. Terrorists can cause tremendous
suffering, but they can neither weaken our determination
nor sway us from our purpose.
For Americans at home and overseas,
shared tragedy brings us together, adds to our
vigilance, and strengthens our resolve not only on
September 11, but every day of the year.
International media outlets have been
reporting on today's anniversary.
CNN had this
reminder on its pages -
"With his head bowed during a moment
of silence outside the White House, President Barack
Obama set the tone Friday for a nation marking a dark
day with solemn ceremonies.
Fourteen years ago Friday, terrorists
hijacked four passenger planes and smashed two into New
York's World Trade Center. A third jetliner rammed into
the Pentagon outside Washington while a fourth one
crash-landed on an empty field in Pennsylvania.
By the time the carnage was over, the hijackers had
killed 2,977 people in the deadliest terrorist attack on
American soil. People, buildings and planes fell from
Terrified strangers became friends as
Americans united on a day that changed the world
At the site of the World Trade Center,
where most of the victims were, bagpipers and drummers
provided solemn tunes to accompany an hours-long
Relatives of those who died stood at
podiums at the National September 11 Memorial plaza,
reading the names of victims. Each speaker read a block
of names before ending with their own loved one, adding
a few words of remembrance for their lost sibling,
child, parent or cousin. Moments of silence were
observed at the specific times when the planes struck
and the buildings fell.
The first plane hit the north tower at 8:46 a.m.
The second one struck at 9:03 a.m. In
this attack, 2,753 people died when terrorists
intentionally crashed American Airlines Flight 11 and
United Airlines Flight 175 into the north and south
towers, respectively. More than 300 firefighters were
among those who perished in the attacks and the collapse
of the towers. Dozens more were police officers.
Hundreds of miles away, a passenger jetliner crashed
near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, at 10:03 a.m. Crowds
there marked a moment of silence at that exact time and
read out the names of the victims. Forty passengers and
crew members aboard United Airlines Flight 93 died when
the plane crashed into the field. It is believed that
the hijackers crashed the plane in that location, rather
than their unknown target, after passengers and the crew
attempted to retake control.
At the Pentagon, 184 people died when hijacked American
Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building at 9:37
a.m. Shortly after 9:30 a.m. Friday, a ceremony began at
the Pentagon Memorial, attended by relatives of the
victims. It included wreath laying and remarks by
Defense Secretary Ash Carter.
At the White House, the President and
first lady Michelle Obama stepped onto the South Lawn
for a minute of silence at 8:46 a.m. -- the time the
first jet hit the World Trade Center.
Obama made no comment at that
observance, but he later visited Fort Meade in Maryland,
where he talked with troops and expressed his
"The President very much values face time with troops --
listening, asking and answering questions, and he looks
forward to taking time on the anniversary of 9/11 to
engage directly with service members," Pentagon
spokesman Peter Cook said. Outside the Justice
Department headquarters in Washington, a crew planted a
pear tree -- an offspring of one at the World Trade
Center plaza that survived the buildings' fall.
The original tree stands at the 9/11
memorial in New York.
The tree is a reminder that "we can
endure, we can prevail, and we, too, can bloom again,"
Attorney General Loretta Lynch said at the ceremony.
Another world-respected international
the BBC, noted -
"Two moments of silence have been held
in New York at the exact time 14 years ago that the two
planes struck the towers of the World Trade Center.
Vice President Joe Biden delivered
remarks at a memorial event in New York along with New
York Governor Andrew Cuomo and American singer Billy
The president met members of the armed
forces at Fort Meade in Maryland and had a long
discussion including discussing where he was during the
His daughter Sasha had just been born
and his older daughter Malia was starting school for the
"It gave you a sense for the first
time, in my lifetime, that our homeland could be
vulnerable," Mr Obama said.
"We hadn't seen an attack like that
since Pearl Harbor.
"Mr Obama thanked troops for their
service and said being commander-in-chief is his
Mr Obama was a state senator in
Illinois on 11 September 2001. He heard reports on the
radio while in the car on the way to a meeting in
downtown Chicago and did not know how serious it was
until he arrived.
"We have to remember how precious what
we have is and defend it at any cost," he said.