Seventeen years ago, we witnessed the destruction of the World Trade Center; the devastating attack on the Pentagon; and we mourned lives lost in a Pennsylvania field.
Today, it is still difficult to see those tragic images without feeling anger. Since then, we proved our mettle as a Nation and reminded the world of General Eisenhower‚a warning that the most formidable fighting force on the planet is a democracy aroused. Despite the loss, we remain free, confident, and the beacon of hope for the entire world. Since that day in 2001, millions of young men and women have joined our Armed Forces.
Their response to the attacks was typically American‚they saw their duty and selflessly put their lives on the line.
They represent the best of us and proudly carry the torch lit on revolutionary fields so long ago. We, at the Department of Veterans Affairs, are grateful for and to them. We are proud of our own VA colleagues who were serving on that day and those who have sacrificed since the attack. You make American great. On this anniversary, we remember those lost on that day in 2001, and honor all who gave the last full measure in the years since. We remain resolute in our commitment to the principles that have preserved the American way of life for almost 250 years. Thank you for what you do for Veterans and their families each day, and may God continue to bless our great Nation.