Obama, Romney, Biden & Ryan on 9/11

President Barack Obama, at the Pentagon (excerpt):

“This anniversary allows us to renew our faith that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn. Today, we can come here to the Pentagon, and touch these names and kneel beside a building where a single stone still bears the scars of that fire. We can visit the field of honor in Pennsylvania and remember the heroes who made it sacred. We can see water cascading into the footprints of the Twin Towers, and gaze up at a new tower rising above the New York skyline.

“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.

“So 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.

“That’s the commitment that we reaffirm today. And that’s why, when the history books are written, the true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division. It will be a safer world; a stronger nation; and a people more united than ever before.”

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, in a statement:

“Eleven years ago, evil descended upon our country, taking thousands of lives in an unspeakable attack against innocents. America will never forget those who perished. America will never stop caring for the loved ones they left behind. And America shall remain ever vigilant against those who would do us harm. Today we again extend our most profound gratitude to our brave troops who have gone into battle, some never to return, so that we may live in peace. On this most somber day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world.”

Vice President Joe Biden, at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa. (excerpt):

“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.

“I also hope — I also hope it continues to give you some solace knowing that this nation, all these people gathered here today, who are not family members, all your neighbors, that they’ve not forgotten. They’ve not forgotten the heroism of your husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers. And that what they did for this country is still etched in the minds of not only you, but millions of Americans, forever. That’s why it’s so important that this memorial be preserved and go on for our children and our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren, and our great-great-grandchildren — because it is what makes it so exceptional. And I think they all appreciate, as I do, more than they can tell you, the incredible bravery your family members showed on that day.”

Republican vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., in a statement:

“Eleven years ago today, from Capitol Hill, I could see the smoke rising from the fires burning in the Pentagon. Like all Americans, I will never forget the moment that our homeland came under attack. For me, this is a day to remember those who perished on that day of terror, including the first responders. It is also a day to pay tribute to all those who have worked quietly and tirelessly both on the home front and abroad to prevent a repetition of such terrible events. And it is a day to give honor to those in our military who have sacrificed so much, including their lives, for the same end. Their courage and heroism and willingness to answer the call of duty have kept America safe and strong and free. We are truly the home of the brave.”

See what some Bay Area members of Congress have been tweeting about today’s anniversary, after the jump…

@RepBarbaraLee: On #Sept11 we pause to honor and remember those who perished, salute the heroism and courage exhibited by all who responded. #Remember911

@RepSpeier: Remembering 9/11. We must never forget the heroism of those who fought to save lives in the wake of this despicable act http://1.usa.gov/U6eMzw

@RepMcNerney: Today we remember those we lost on 9/11. My thoughts and prayers are with families and friends who lost someone on that tragic day.

@RepZoeLofgren: Today we remember those who lost their lives on #Sept11 & honor the heroism of those who responded thru nat’l service http://go.usa.gov/0D9

@NancyPelosi: On this day, our solemn pledge remains clear: to draw inspiration from the 9/11 families and to #neverforget. youtu.be/wP8p1JMgnM4

@SenatorBoxer: My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones in the horrific attacks of September 11th 2001.
@SenatorBoxer: We all should thank our troops, especially our Navy SEALs, and our Commander in Chief for finally bringing bin Laden to justice.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • JohnW

    I wonder if 70 years from now, people will remember 9/11 the way we still remember Pearl Harbor. Hope they never forget the heroes of Flight 93.

    I was born a bit more than 4 years after Pearl Harbor. Had relatives who fought in the Pacific. Yet, until I was in my teens, it might as well have been ancient history for all I cared. I suspect that is true of 9/11 for anybody less than 18 years old today.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    Careful, mentioning the attacks may offend sensitive Islamists in Benghazi and Cairo.

  • Patty O’Day

    John, next year you should attend the annual 9/11 Remembrance and Candlelight Vigil on the El Curtola Overpass on Hwy 24 in Lafayette. It is a truly moving experience. For the last few years, we have had many, many children under the age of 18 attend. Even though attendance was somewhat down in year 11, the number of children attending increases each year. It is a very moving and educational experience, and I hope you can make it next year.

  • JohnW

    Thanks, Patty O’Day.