PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) - Local, state and national politicians released statements Tuesday to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Former Governor Tim Kaine:
"Today, Anne and I join all Americans in expressing our sincere appreciation for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, guard members, first responders, and others and who work every day to keep us safe and secure at home and abroad.
On this day eleven years ago our Commonwealth and our country were struck by an unimaginable act of terror. Even as we mourned, we resolved to honor the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost by better protecting our nation and rededicating ourselves to a national spirit of service. Our response included military action that took many of our best and bravest far from their families for months and years at a time. All Americans owe these men and women, and their families, a debt of gratitude. In particular, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of more than 6,500 service members who lost their lives in conflicts abroad since that day, including more than 2,000 in Afghanistan. We also pray for the safe return of the thousands of men and women who are serving in Afghanistan, as we speak.
The tragedy of September 11, 2001 also reawakened a spirit of national unity and service that is seen in the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Our nation has always been at its best when we come together to support one another, as in the dark days following those terrible attacks. Since then, our Commonwealth and country have seen days of sorrow and joy, but we have never lost the unique sense of American optimism that our best days are still ahead of us.
This eleventh anniversary coincides with an uplifting piece of news which marks a turning point in our response to the attacks. For the first time in a decade, every unit of the Virginia National Guard is home. Overseas deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other foreign theaters, as well as domestic responsibilities, took many of our guardsmen and women away from their families and friends. We know they may again be called to serve, but for now we celebrate their safe return and pray for the families of those who did not return home."
Former Governor George Allen:
"Although more than a decade has passed, our nation continues to honor the memory of those we tragically lost 11 years ago on September 11, 2001. As we solemnly and vividly recall the events of that day, we remember the courage, faith, sacrifice and unity of neighbors and fellow Americans as we rose above this tragedy. When our resolve was tested and our strength tried, we persevered as a nation, healing together as we continue to serve as a beacon for Freedom, liberty and justice around the world.
As we remember friends, neighbors and loved ones lost on that horrific day, we also thank our military, law officers, firefighters, first responders, the intelligence community and all security personnel who continue to protect our Freedoms. America is stronger and safer because of these patriots' great service to our country at home and abroad. May America continue to stand strong for Freedom."
GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney:
"Eleven years ago, evil descended upon our country, taking thousands of lives in an unspeakable attack against innocents. America will never forget those who perished. America will never stop caring for the loved ones they left behind. And America shall remain ever vigilant against those who would do us harm. Today we again extend our most profound gratitude to our brave troops who have gone into battle, some never to return, so that we may live in peace. On this most somber day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world."
GOP Vice Presidential Candidate Paul Ryan
"Eleven years ago today, from Capitol Hill, I could see the smoke rising from the fires burning in the Pentagon. Like all Americans, I will never forget the moment that our homeland came under attack. For me, this is a day to remember those who perished on that day of terror, including the first responders. It is also a day to pay tribute to all those who have worked quietly and tirelessly both on the home front and abroad to prevent a repetition of such terrible events. And it is a day to give honor to those in our military who have sacrificed so much, including their lives, for the same end. Their courage and heroism and willingness to answer the call of duty have kept America safe and strong and free. We are truly the home of the brave."
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