U.S. Embassy Bucharest
September 11th 2020
My friends thank you for joining me for Patriots Day this morning. Today, like September 11, 2001 is another spectacular day with not a cloud in the sky. Yet, today is a day of somber memorial and remembrance as well as of resolve. Since my arrival last December, we have experienced many firsts together, and now we stand here…together…to mark our first shared anniversary of September 11, 2001, a day the world will never forget.
For me today will always be not only about a great loss, but a day of reflection about the courage and resolve of the American people, from the families of the deceased, to the firemen, policemen, emergency response personnel and our brave men and women in uniform. This is a day of mourning and remembrance as well as a day of inspiration. What happened nineteen years ago should never happen again.
Nineteen years ago, cowardly enemies deprived us of nearly 3,000 innocent family members, friends, and fellow citizens. The innocent victims were from every walk of life and every background. They had done absolutely nothing to harm those who attacked them. They were targeted solely because they came from the nation that represented everything our enemies hate—a land that embraced freedom, human rights, decency, and individual dignity. For the mere fact of being of American they were killed in our towers, at our Pentagon, and in our fields. It was dastardly and low act. The perpetrators are beneath human scorn and contempt.
I know that each of you, like me, remembers exactly where you were that morning. Some of you were in far flung corners of our country or abroad, some of you were in New York or Washington and watched in person as the infamy unfolded. I was in New York and I saw the towers fall and a fantastic city nearly crippled. It is an image I will never forget.
The horrible memories of that day mark an indelible turning point in my life. I knew then that our world had changed forever. I knew that the war on terror would be as difficult as it was essential. And I knew that America could achieve anything when it acts with resolve and clarity of purpose. We have and will continue to defeat the enemies of freedom, and we will continue to hunt those who would bring violence to our shores. We have no choice if we want justice for those lives stolen from us and if we wish to leave a more peaceful world for our children and grandchildren.
Our enemies succeeded in stealing our loved ones and our peace, but they also succeeded in showing the world again that our first responders are among the bravest, selfless souls to have ever existed, that there is no better friend and no worse enemy than our military, and that even though we seek peace, we will not be victimized or held hostage by malign actors.
The United States is a force for good, for freedom, for human decency and for democracy. The United States will protect those values against all who seek to take them away from us. We will never bow down to the forces of evil, terrorism, injustice, and oppression.
I pray that those of you that lost loved ones or friends on this day nineteen years ago have found solace in the passage of time. As a nation and as a people we must always honor the memory of every person we lost on that horrible day.
Thank you. God bless you and your families. And God bless the United States of America.