Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing And Urban Development
9/11 Remembrance Speech
September 11, 2018

 

Welcome. Today, we reflect on one of America's darkest days—a day stamped into the nation’s consciousness and a day that forever changed us.

The startling images of 9/11 are with each of us. Who can forget where they were on that day? I remember walking out of the operating room and hearing people saying, “did you see what happened, did you see what happened?” Everyone was gathered around the television, watching in shock as the second plane hit the tower.

Those same deplorable attacks that forever changed the skyline of Lower Manhattan, set the Pentagon ablaze, and scorched a field in Pennsylvania, created sacred ground; places where we can go to reflect on what it means to be American.

We lost nearly 3,000 Americans that day. But, the psychological impact is far greater. Of course, we remember those who perished on that day. We remember those who rushed into harm’s way to help. And, we remember the families and friends they left behind.

We also remember those who joined the battle against terrorism, many who gave all they had to give in defense of our nation.

For many Americans, 9/11 is history, not a memory. Today's college students were young children. Our oldest high school students were toddlers at the time. And, of course anyone under the age of 17 wasn't born.

With each passing year, it is a challenge to keep the memory alive. The passage of time makes this inevitable. The events of that day continue to impact us today. You can visit any airport, visit any Federal building or attend any major public event and see that. But our reflections shouldn’t center on matters of security, airplanes and buildings.

Instead, let us hold on to the memory of that day 17 years ago, we became one. September 11th impacted EACH of us and ALL of us, regardless of our race, our politics, or our nation of birth. For that moment, and in the days, weeks, and months thereafter, we stood as one.

We’re all accustomed to patriotism on the Fourth of July, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day. But on THIS day, the flags that fly at our homes and that are strung from highway overpasses, remind us that out of the ashes came a rebirth of pride.

Every generation has a defining moment. There can be no mistake about it, 9/11 is ours.

On this solemn day, it is our obligation to remember and, perhaps to reclaim the solidarity that bound us together as a nation nearly a decade and a half ago.

Please join me in a moment of silence for those we lost.

On behalf of the President, and a grateful nation, thank you for your service. May God Bless America!

Thank you.