Today we reflect on the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon has come to be known as Patriot Day. We remember the people who were killed in the attacks and those who continue to suffer and die in the years since then as a result of the actions of that day.
The flag of the United States is ordered to be flown at half-mast on all government buildings and establishments throughout the world, and Americans are also encouraged to display flags at their homes and businesses. A moment of silence occurs at 8:46 a.m. eastern time to correspond with the time the first plane struck the World Trade Center’s North Tower.
Patriot Day is not a federal holiday—schools and businesses do remain open. However, there are often memorial ceremonies held for the victims and for people to share their memories and experiences of the day.
As we remember, here are some thoughtful quotes to consider on this day.
“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.” — Rudy Giuliani
“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
“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.” — President George W. Bush
“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
“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
“Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” — President George W. Bush
“We emerged from the events of September 11 more steadfast in our beliefs, more courageous in our actions and more determined to protect our values than ever before.” — Jane D. Hull
“I was in New York on September 11 when those planes hit the World Trade Center. At the time, it seemed like it was a local thing. But three or four days later, by the time we drove across the country in the bus, we realized it wasn’t a local thing. You could really feel the states become united. We became the United States of America.” — John Madden