On September 11, 2001, America was rocked by the worst terrorist attack in modern day history when two planes struck the World Trade Center in New York City. Nearly 3,000 innocent people lost their lives that day, and so today we observe Patriot Day and all that it represents: our country’s resilience, the strength of the American spirit, and the value of human life.
On the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the U.S., reflect on the tragedy and remember those who lost their lives with these powerful 9/11 quotes:
1. “Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.” — President Barack Obama
2. “You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy.” — Colin Powell
3. “Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11th. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children.” — former President George W. Bush
4. “What separates us from the animals, what separates us from the chaos, is our ability to mourn people we’ve never met.” — David Levithan, Love is the Higher Law
5. “America was not built on fear. America was built on courage, on imagination and an unbeatable determination to do the job at hand.” — former President Harry S. Truman
6. “If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.” — Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl
7. “The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom.” — Then-Mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani
8. “September 11, 2001, revealed heroism in ordinary people who might have gone through their lives never called upon to demonstrate the extent of their courage.” — Geraldine Brooks
9. “September 11 is one of our worst days but it brought out the best in us. It unified us as a country and showed our charitable instincts and reminded us of what we stood for and stand for.” — Sen. Lamar Alexander
10. Billy Collins, America’s poet laureate, wrote a poem he called ‘The Names’ about the 2,792 who perished that day. Here are its closing lines, as read by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at the World Trade Center site in 2003:
“Names etched on
the head of a pin.
One name spanning
a bridge, another
undergoing a tunnel.
A blue name needled
into the skin.
Names of citizens,
daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in
a green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat
Or balanced on
the tip of the tongue.
into the dim warehouse
So many names, there
is barely room on
the walls of the heart.”