Thank you, Lee. The events of September 11, 2001, transformed our nation – and touched each of our lives.
Nineteen years ago today, foreign terrorists perpetrated an unprecedented attack on U.S. soil which claimed nearly 3,000 innocent lives. We gather to mourn their loss and to honor their legacy.
Here, at the Department of Justice, we pay special tribute to the more than 70 members of our law-enforcement family whom we lost that day. We also remember the first-responders who sacrificed their health and safety at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the collapse of the Twin Towers — many of whom ultimately gave their lives.
Inspired by their selflessness, we rededicate ourselves to the relentless pursuit of justice and security and to the common values that bind us as a Nation.
Now too, we must make common cause with our fellow citizens and unite to face a national challenge of a different sort: the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in over 100 years, we face a public health crisis that reaches coast to coast and around the globe. But I am confident that our country, and the Department of Justice in particular, are up to the task.
As we were so powerfully reminded nearly two decades ago after the attacks of September 11, the American people have an unfathomable capacity to sacrifice for the common good — as so many have done these past months — and to rebuild in the wake of tragedy, stronger and more resilient than before. And I am inspired with confidence by the men and women of the Department of Justice who have answered the call to serve under the strain of incredible demands to protect our Nation’s safety and security. Thank you.
On this day of remembrance, may we bring to mind the brave men and women who were lost 19 years ago and honor their sacrifice by continuing our great mission in service to the American people. I thank each of you for what you have done to make our Nation stronger, to keep us safe against all manner of threats, and to promote the cause of Justice.
May God bless those we lost on September 11, 2001. May God bless all of our American families. And may God bless all of you who are here today.