Obama: Unite in Spirit of Service on Sept. 11

WASHINGTON, Aug. 27, 2011 — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma called on the Amer­i­can peo­ple to come togeth­er in the spir­it of ser­vice and remem­brance as the 10th anniver­sary of the Sept. 11 attacks approach­es.

“In just two weeks, we’ll come togeth­er as a nation to mark the 10th anniver­sary of the Sept. 11 attacks,” the pres­i­dent said today in his week­ly address.

“We’ll remem­ber the inno­cent lives we lost. We’ll stand with the fam­i­lies who loved them. We’ll hon­or the hero­ic first respon­ders who rushed to the scene and saved so many,” Oba­ma con­tin­ued. “And we’ll pay trib­ute to our troops and mil­i­tary fam­i­lies, and all those who have served over the past 10 years, to keep us safe and strong.”

The worst ter­ror­ist attack in Amer­i­can his­to­ry brought out the best in the Amer­i­can peo­ple, he said. Amer­i­cans lined up to give blood, vol­un­teers drove across the coun­try to lend a hand, school­child­ren donat­ed their sav­ings, and com­mu­ni­ties, faith groups and busi­ness­es col­lect­ed food and cloth­ing.

“We were unit­ed, and the out­pour­ing of gen­eros­i­ty and com­pas­sion remind­ed us that in times of chal­lenge, we Amer­i­cans move for­ward togeth­er, as one peo­ple,” the pres­i­dent said. On Sept. 11, Oba­ma and First Lady Michelle Oba­ma will join the com­mem­o­ra­tions at ground zero, in Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pen­ta­gon.

Even Amer­i­cans who can’t be in New York, Penn­syl­va­nia or Vir­ginia, he said, can be part of the com­mem­o­ra­tion by par­tic­i­pat­ing in the Sept. 11 Nation­al Day of Ser­vice and Remem­brance.

“In the days and weeks ahead,” Oba­ma said, “folks across the coun­try in all 50 states will come togeth­er in their com­mu­ni­ties and neigh­bor­hoods to hon­or the vic­tims of 9/11 and to reaf­firm the strength of our nation with acts of ser­vice and char­i­ty.”

In Min­neapo­lis, vol­un­teers will help restore a com­mu­ni­ty cen­ter, the pres­i­dent said. In Win­ston-Salem, N.C., they’ll ham­mer shin­gles and lay floors to give fam­i­lies a new home. In Tal­la­has­see, Fla., they’ll assem­ble care pack­ages for U.S. troops over­seas and their fam­i­lies at home. In Orange Coun­ty, Calif., they’ll ren­o­vate homes for vet­er­ans.

Oba­ma and the first lady also will join a local ser­vice project, he said. Those who wish to par­tic­i­pate can learn more about local oppor­tu­ni­ties at the serve.gov web­site.

“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,” the pres­i­dent said. On this 10th anniver­sary, he said, the nation faces great chal­lenges.

“We’re emerg­ing from the worst eco­nom­ic cri­sis in our life­times. We’re tak­ing the fight to al-Qai­da, end­ing the war in Iraq and start­ing to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. And we’re work­ing to rebuild the foun­da­tion of our nation­al strength here at home,” Oba­ma said.

None of the chal­lenges will be easy, he said, and it can’t be the work of gov­ern­ment alone.

“As we saw after 9/11,” Oba­ma said, “the strength of Amer­i­ca has always been the char­ac­ter and com­pas­sion of our peo­ple.”

The pres­i­dent called on Amer­i­cans to mark this solemn anniver­sary by sum­mon­ing the same spir­it shown 10 years ago on Sept. 11.

“And let’s show that the sense of com­mon pur­pose that we need in Amer­i­ca does­n’t have to be a fleet­ing moment,” Oba­ma said. “It can be a last­ing virtue — not just on one day, but every day.”

Source:
U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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