This is never an easy day. But it is especially difficult for all of you, the families of nearly 3,000 innocents who lost their lives—your mothers and fathers, your husbands and wives, your sons and your daughters. They were taken from us suddenly and far too soon.
Even now, all these years later, it is easy for those of us who lived through that day to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there—and back here—back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when Americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn't crumbling under our feet.
And even though we may never be able to fully lift the burden carried by those left behind, we know that somewhere, a son is growing up with his father's eyes and a daughter has her mother's laugh—living reminders that those who died are with us still.
As painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are. No act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for. Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly without wavering to the hope that we confess.
God bless the memories of those we lost. And God bless these United States of America."- President Obama, 11 September 2012
For no matter how many anniversaries you experience, for at least an instant, the terror of that moment returns; the lingering echo of that phone call; that sense of total disbelief that envelops you, where you feel like you're being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest.
My hope for you all is that as every year passes, the depth of your pain recedes and you find comfort, as I have, genuine comfort in recalling his smile, her laugh, their touch. And I hope you're as certain as I am that she can see what a wonderful man her son has turned out to be, grown up to be; that he knows everything that your daughter has achieved, and that he can hear, and she can hear how her mom still talks about her, the day he scored the winning touchdown, how bright and beautiful she was on that graduation day, and know that he knows what a beautiful child the daughter he never got to see has turned out to be, and how much she reminds you of him.
For I know you see your wife every time you see her smile on your child's face. You remember your daughter every time you hear laughter coming from her brother's lips. And you remember your husband every time your son just touches your hand.
America has not forgotten the heroism of your husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers.
- Vice President Joe Biden, honoring the passengers and crew of Flight 93, in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. Biden lost his first wife and baby daughter in a 1972 car crash.