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Quotations for Patriot Day
September 11th Commemoration



Patriot Day... holiday observed in the United States on September 11 to commemorate the lives of those who died in the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Virginia and those who perished when the hijacked United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in Pennsylvania. The holiday also recognizes those who died attempting to rescue people trapped by the attacks... Americans are asked to honor the dead with a moment of silence beginning at 8:46 am, Eastern Standard Time, the time that the first airplane struck the World Trade Center. ~Britannica.com


With the tears a Land hath shed
Their graves should ever be green...
~Thomas Bailey Aldrich


The stern hand of fate has scourged us to an elevation where we can see the everlasting things that matter for a nation — the great peaks we had forgotten, of Honor, Duty, Patriotism, and, clad in glittering white, the towering pinnacle of Sacrifice pointing like a rugged finger to Heaven. As long as the men and women of this generation last, they will carry in their hearts the image of those mighty peaks whose foundations are not shaken, though the country rock and sway in the convulsions of a catastrophe. ~David Lloyd George, "Through Terror to Triumph!," 1914  [altered —tg]


The brave die never, tho' they sleep in dust;
Their courage nerves a thousand living men...
~Minot J. Savage, "Decorating the Soldiers' Graves"


On this first observance of Patriot Day, we remember and honor those who perished in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. We will not forget the events of that terrible morning nor will we forget how Americans responded in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in the skies over Pennsylvania — with heroism and selflessness; with compassion and courage; and with prayer and hope. We will always remember our collective obligation to ensure that justice is done, that freedom prevails, and that the principles upon which our Nation was founded endure. ~George W. Bush, Proclamation, Patriot Day, 2002


Unable are the Loved to die
For Love is Immortality...
~Emily Dickinson


The true legacy of 9/11 is that our spirit is mightier, the bonds that unite us are thicker, and the resolve is firmer than the million tons of limestone and concrete that make up that great edifice behind me. ~Joe Biden, Remarks by the Vice President at the Pentagon 9/11  10th Anniversary Commemoration, 2011


God gave burdens, also shoulders. ~Yiddish proverb


I can think of no more stirring symbol of man's humanity to man than a fire engine. ~Kurt Vonnegut (1922–2007)


Faith is the bird that feels the light
and sings when the dawn is still dark.
~Rabindranath Tagore


Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgment that something else is more important than one's fear. ~Ambrose Redmoon (James Neil Hollingworth) (1933–1996), "No Peaceful Warriors!," 1991


The hero deed can not expire,
The dead still play their part.
~Charles Sangster, "Brock," 1859


God understands our prayers even when we can't find the words to say them. ~Author unknown


Those whom we lost last September 11 will forever hold a cherished place in our hearts and in the history of our Nation. ~George W. Bush, Proclamation, Patriot Day, 2002


[M]emory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you wish to never lose. ~Bob Brush


To live in hearts we leave behind,
      Is not to die.
~Thomas Campbell (1777–1844), "Hallowed Ground"


      On Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, we honor every life that was taken too soon. We honor the first responders — firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency workers, and service members — who answered the call of duty, and the brave civilians who rushed into action to save lives that day. Their courage embodies the American spirit and resilience, and their heroism continues to inspire new generations of Americans...
      Today, on this Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, we move forward as one Nation, united by our common goal of liberty and justice for all. We remember those killed on September 11, 2001, and honor them through acts of service. I encourage all Americans to visit americorps.gov/911-day to learn about and seek opportunities to serve others on this day and to demonstrate once again that the ideals we hold, which many have tried to attack and destroy, are the very bonds that hold us together — even tighter in times of peril. ~Joseph R. Biden, Jr., Proclamation, 2021


There are some griefs so loud
They could bring down the sky,
And there are griefs so still
None knows how deep they lie,
Endured, never expended.
~May Sarton, "Of Grief," A Durable Fire, 1972


As we remember September 11, 2001, we reaffirm the vows made in the earliest hours of our grief and anger. As liberty's home and defender, America will not tire, will not falter, and will not fail in fighting for the safety and security of the American people and a world free from terrorism. ~George W. Bush, Proclamation, Patriot Day, 2003


...while we are mourning the loss of our friend, others are rejoicing to meet him behind the veil... ~John Taylor, 1882


For the brave and the true
...the red, white and blue
Are united forever.
~William Woodman, "Emblems of Decoration Day," 1892


Honor. Serve. Unite. The September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance (9/11 Day), is a chance to help others in tribute to those killed and injured on September 11, 2001, first responders, and the countless others who serve to defend the nation's freedom at home and around the globe... [S]tep forward to serve in a remarkable spirit of unity, honor, and compassion. Remember, even a small act of service is a giant act of patriotism. ~AmeriCorps, americorps.gov/911-day, 2021


I have long lived by the precept "Courage is being afraid, but going on anyhow." ~Dan Rather


      On September 11, 2001, amid shattered glass, twisted steel, and clouds of dust, the spirit of America shone through. We remember the sacrifice of strangers and first responders who rushed into darkness to carry others from danger. We remember the unbreakable bonds of unity we felt in the long days that followed — how we held each other, how we came to our neighbors' aid, how we prayed for one another. We recall how Americans of every station joined together to support the survivors in their hour of need and to heal our Nation in the years that followed.
      Today, we can honor those we lost by building a Nation worthy of their memories. Let us also live up to the selfless example of the heroes who gave of themselves in the face of such great evil. As we mark the anniversary of September 11, I invite all Americans to observe a National Day of Service and Remembrance by uniting in the same extraordinary way we came together after the attacks. Like the Americans who chose compassion when confronted with cruelty, we can show our love for one another by devoting our time and talents to those in need. I encourage all Americans to visit www.Serve.gov... to find ways to get involved in their communities. ~Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation — Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, 2013


There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept, things we don't want to know but have to learn, and people we can't live without but have to let go. ~Author unknown


With the hearts of those we lost held faithfully in our memories, we reaffirm the unwavering optimism and everlasting strength that brought us together in our darkest hour, and we resolve to give of ourselves in service to others in that same spirit. ~Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation — Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, 2016


Wherever a man turns he can find someone who needs him. ~Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965)


Although words cannot ease the pain of these losses — paying tribute by recalling not just the horror of that day but the heroism as well can hopefully give you some comfort and stiffen the resolve of this nation. ~Joe Biden, Remarks by the Vice President at the Pentagon 9/11  10th Anniversary Commemoration, 2011


God is closest to those with broken hearts. ~Jewish saying


Three years ago, our country was ruthlessly attacked, and more than 3,000 innocent people lost their lives. We will always remember the victims:  sons and daughters, husbands and wives, dads and moms, family members, co-workers, and friends. And we will always be inspired by the heroism and decency of our fellow citizens on that day. Police, firefighters, emergency rescue personnel, doctors, nurses, and many others risked their own lives to save the lives of their fellow citizens. They demonstrated the great character and bravery of our Nation, and they embody the great spirit of America. ~George W. Bush, Proclamation, Patriot Day, 2004


Four years have passed since our country was brutally attacked on a quiet September morning. On that day, thousands of innocent lives were taken from us. The victims and the families who lost loved ones remain in the hearts and prayers of our Nation. We also remember the courage of the firefighters, police officers, emergency rescue personnel, and scores of private citizens who showed us the true meaning of heroism and demonstrated our resolve to the world. ~George W. Bush, Proclamation, Patriot Day, 2005


On the fifth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, we recall the fire and horror at the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field. America will always remember the thousands of innocent lives taken by the enemies of freedom that morning. In the face of these unspeakable attacks, we were reminded that the great strength of America is found in the hearts and souls of our citizens. We witnessed firefighters, police officers, other public safety officials, and ordinary Americans demonstrate extraordinary courage, risking their lives to save innocent victims. We saw our country united in compassion as Americans came together to provide relief and bring hope to others. ~George W. Bush, Proclamation, Patriot Day, 2006


      In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the American people demonstrated that in times of hardship, the values that define us do not simply endure — they are stronger than ever. As a Nation, we responded to unthinkable tragedy with an outpouring of service and goodwill. On that dark day, first responders rushed into a burning Pentagon and climbed the stairs of smoking towers on the verge of collapse, while citizens risked their own health and safety to prevent further heartbreak and destruction. As Americans, we came together to help our country recover and rebuild.
      Today, we pay tribute to the selfless heroes and innocent victims of September 11, 2001, and we reaffirm the spirit of patriotism, service, and unity that we felt in the days and months that followed. By volunteering our time and unique skills, we can enrich communities across our country, and together, we can strengthen our Nation to meet the challenges of the 21st century. ~Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation — Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, 2011


United by a common creed, a commitment to lifting up our neighbors, and a belief that we are stronger when we stand by one another, we must find the courage to carry forward the legacy of those who stepped up in our time of need. By devoting ourselves to each other and recognizing that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves just as heroic patriots did on September 11 we are paying tribute to their sacrifices. On this National Day of Service and Remembrance, we must ensure that darkness is no match for the light we shine by engaging in acts of service and charity. I invite all Americans to observe this day with compassionate and selfless deeds that embody the values that define our people, and to visit www.Serve.gov to find opportunities to give back to their communities. ~Barack Obama, Presidential Proclamation — Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, 2016





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