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September 11, 2001

As all of you are aware, today is the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the United States in New York at the World Trade Center, in Washington at the Pentagon, as well as in Pennsylvania. While reminders of that day five years ago are present in our lives virtually every day, with the images emblazoned into our minds, I still feel that it is appropriate to honor, even in a small way, those that died.

We all lost something. Some of us lost friends, family, parents and coworkers. Others lost a sense of hope and security. What has not changed in the past 5 years is that Americans, as every generation before it, responded to an enormous tragedy and made good out of it. Whether it was the public willingness to donate blood, the massive relief effort at Ground Zero or the call to service, the American people responded.

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Just like the attacks on Pearl Harbor showed that the consequences of war in Europe could spill into our shores, America took 9/11 as a wakeup call that our oceans were not large enough to separate us from the world’s problems any longer. I can not say that I am proud of our leaders in Washington – indeed how they have exploited this tragedy is a tragedy in itself – but there is no doubt that the American spirit lives on. We are literally a living history. Let us as a nation do more good for our world than those that tried to bring harm to us.