Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Members of Congress held a Congressional Remembrance Ceremony in Statuary Hall in the Capitol this afternoon to remember the eighth anniversary of September 11 and pay tribute to the victims. Below are the Speaker's remarks:
“Just a few moments ago, we unveiled a plaque in the heart of the U.S. Capitol to commemorate some of the heroes of 9/11: the men and women of United Airlines Flight 93.
“Their families are standing by our side today, and I ask all of my colleagues to take a moment to recognize these mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, for keeping the memory of those heroes alive. [Applause.]
“It is indeed a humbling experience, as it always is, when we tread on the sacred ground of 9/11. For those of us who are engaged in a profession that is based on words and speaking, we find our inadequacies, because words are not adequate to express the gratitude, the respect, the debt that we have to all of these families.
“Now we gather to honor all of the heroes of that fateful day eight years ago: the firefighters and first responders and rescue workers and all who perished trying to save others. We remember those who refused to leave their co-workers behind; whose lives were cut short during the unforgettable horror of that clear morning. We recall our men and women in uniform abroad, fighting for our values, protecting our nation, making enormous sacrifices -- they and their families -- so our children can know safety and security. And of course, we honor those who lost their lives on September 11.
“It is in their names that we mark this day. It is in their memory that we pledge to never forget this unspeakable tragedy. It is their silenced voices that guide us, that inspire us, that echo in our hearts each time we stand in the Capitol and sing the words of ‘God Bless America.'
“Bound by clear memories of destruction and despair, Americans forgot about our differences and embraced our shared heritage. In the tragedy, we found unity. In the ashes, we rallied around a common cause. In fallen towers, we located the strength to carry on. In the darkness of that day, we saw the light of a brighter future.
“We express our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims, who remain the conscience of our efforts to keep the memories of the fallen alive.
“And so today we do this gathered inside because of the threat of rain. But as we did many years ago, in September of 2001, we will close by singing ‘God Bless America' because God truly did bless America in the lives and the courage of the heroes of 9/11.
“We recommit ourselves to help our courageous first responders treat health needs that linger to this day and provide them with the resources they need to respond to future emergencies.
“May God bless the memories of all of the heroes of 9/11. May God continue to bless the United States of America.
“And now, let us have a moment of silence in memory of all who were lost on 9/11.”