|Kyla Gomes, 10, of Leesburg, Trish Csizmadia, of Pittsburgh, and their families join hundreds of spectators along King Street in Leesburg to wave flags and cheer for the 450 motorcycle riders along their journey to honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks Aug. 17. Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny|
Below are remarks from several of Virginia's elected officials in remembrance of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001:
U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine: “It’s been twelve years since thousands of lives were lost in New York, Pennsylvania, and Northern Virginia. As we continue to mourn those we lost, we honor their memories and keep their friends and families in our prayers. Today we give thanks for the heroic efforts of first responders who put their lives on the line that day to save others, and our service members who continue to sacrifice in defense of our nation. While I will never forget the terror of that day, I will always remember how people all over the Commonwealth and the nation supported one another and united behind the belief that our best days are still ahead.”
U.S. Sen. Mark Warner: “The anniversary of September 11th provides each American with an opportunity to pause and reflect upon the lives of those who were taken from us 12 years ago. Our thoughts are with the families, friends and coworkers who still grieve, and those who continue to support the individuals who were injured at the Pentagon in Northern Virginia, in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and in New York City.
Today's twelfth anniversary also reminds each of us to salute the remarkable courage, commitment, service and sacrifice willingly provided by our dedicated first responders, military families, and intelligence professionals, who work every day to keep Americans safe.
May God bless, and continue to protect, the United States of America.”
U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, Virginia's 10th District: “We should all take a moment to remember both the victims of the 9/11 attack in New York, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania who perished that dark day 12 years ago, as well as the four Americans killed last year in Benghazi – and the other wounded survivors who fought valiantly to protect American lives that night. If we never properly investigate this attack, we will never be able to honor the memory and service of the American heroes who served in Benghazi.”
Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli: “Today we mourn the loss and honor the lives of our fellow Americans taken from us twelve years ago today. At the Pentagon as well as in New York, Pennsylvania and across the country, families and loved ones of those lost continue to grieve over senseless acts of Islamic terrorism that shook our nation.
At the same time, we celebrate the courage of our firefighters, police officers and individual citizens whose heroism in the face of unbelievable adversity that tragic day united us all. It is that spirit of purpose and service, demonstrated in our darkest hour, which reveals the compassion we have for one another.
On this most somber of anniversaries, we also express our deepest gratitude to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms. We continue to pray for the safe return of those serving overseas, and we express our sympathy and thanks to the families of our brave servicemen and servicewomen who gave the last full measure of devotion in defense of liberty.
There are still evil extremists who continue to wish us harm, as we were reminded last year on this day when U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three courageous Americans were murdered in Benghazi, Libya while serving abroad. We must remain vigilant and determined so that peace and prosperity for Americans at home and abroad is secured for Virginians now and in the future.
For those we lost, and those they left behind, we will never forget."
9/11 Day of Remembrance, Patriotism and Prayer: Proclamation by Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia
WHEREAS, the events of September 11, 2001 profoundly affected - and continue to affect - all aspects of our society, and the lives of Virginians, Americans and people across the world were changed forever following the destruction of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, the attack against the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the crash of Flight 93 in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania; and
WHEREAS, twelve years later the citizens of our Commonwealth and these United States continue to mourn for the more than three thousand innocent voices that were tragically silenced-including 184 in Virginia at the Pentagon-by terrorists on that infamous day of death and destruction; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative that we never forget our shock and revulsion at the needless destruction, the bravery of our first responders who risked all for their neighbors, our anguish from the sudden loss of so many precious lives, or how we as a people did not succumb to a state of fear as the terrorists intended, but instead set aside our differences and united as patriots in our country's hour of need; and
WHEREAS, while we reflect upon the memory of the departed, it is important that we also pause to remember and honor the sacrifices of all those members of our armed forces who have given their lives in heroic service to our country and all members of our military who have volunteered to bring those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and their supporters to justice during the Global War on Terror; and
WHEREAS, prayer has long served as a measure of our nation's strong heritage of faith and has been an indispensable source of moral and spiritual guidance for citizens throughout our Commonwealth's history, and it is fitting that our Commonwealth reserve a day in which our citizens may reflect and mourn - consistent with their own faith traditions - with those who have suffered as a result of terrorism, to humbly ask God for the strength and fortitude necessary to protect our lives, liberty and property from future transgressions, and to give thanks for the freedoms with which we as a people are fortunate enough to be blessed;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert F. McDonnell, do hereby recognize September 11, 2013 as a DAY OF REMEMBRANCE, PATRIOTISM AND PRAYER in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens; and
FURTHERMORE, I urge all citizens of our Commonwealth to display the flag of the United States of America wherever possible, and I invite all to witness a one-minute, statewide Moment of Silence starting at 9:37 AM - when American Airlines Flight 77 impacted with the Pentagon in our County of Arlington - and I encourage all Virginians to reflect upon the lives lost and heroic sacrifices made on that fateful eleventh day of September.