As we remember and reflect on the 17th anniversary of the September 11th tragedy, we’ve pulled together some of the most powerful quotes to honor those we love and lost. We also want to recognize and honor the incredible heroism and bravery our first responders and armed forces showed us that day seventeen years ago and continue to show us every day.
“One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history. We’ll always honor the heroes of 9/11. And here at this hallowed place, we pledge that we will never forget their sacrifice.” — President George W. Bush, at the Pentagon in 2008.
“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, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in 2002.
“With almost no time to decide, [your loved ones] gave the entire country an incalculable gift. They saved the Capitol from attack. They saved God knows how many lives. They saved the terrorists from claiming the symbolic victory of smashing the center of American government. … They allowed us to survive as a country that could fight terror and still maintain liberty and still welcome people from all over the world from every religion and race and culture as long as they shared our values, because – ordinary people given no time at all to decide did the right thing.” — President Bill Clinton in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in 2011.
“The attacks of September 11th were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified.” — Mayor of New York, Rudy Giuliani, speaking on September 31st, 2001.
“No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” — A quote from Virgil’s Aeneid, which adorns the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
“My son, firefighter Leon Smith Jr., who was the sunshine of my life. He gave his life so that others could live. I love you, I miss you and we’ll meet again soon.” – Irene Smith spoke lovingly of her son, a member of Ladder Co. 118 FDNY, during a memorial service in New York.
“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, speaking during a 2011 radio address
“For me and my family personally, September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent, and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter.” — Deepak Chopra
“True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else.” — Clarence Darrow
“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
“We will win this struggle—not for glory, nor wealth, nor power, but for justice, for freedom, and for peace… so help us God.” — Tom Harkin
“Remember the hours after Sept. 11 when we came together as one! It was the worst day we have ever seen, but it brought out the best in all of us.” — Secretary of State John Kerry