“Nineteen years ago, this morning, I was at work when a report came over the radio that a plane had hit one of the Twin Towers in New York. I stopped what I was doing and turned on the television. I watched as another plane flew into the second tower and it soon became clear that our nation was under attack. I watched as we learned a third plane had hit the Pentagon and then a fourth went down in rural Pennsylvania. And I watched as the towers came down and sat in disbelief seeing the images of smoke rising from New York City. We all watched, in real time, as the world was changed forever.
“Like every American who lived through September 11, 2001, I remember everything about that day: The shock of what was unfolding right before our eyes. The pain we felt for those we lost, those who were missing and those they left behind. The bravery of first responders who ran into the wreckage, and the valor of servicemembers who stood up to protect us from future attacks. And, today, as we remember and honor those we lost, that grief remains in our hearts.
“As we now face a once in a century crisis that has taken the lives of almost 200,000 Americans, it is also important to remember the determination and resolve we found in the days, weeks and months following September 11.
“Our country desperately needs to find that unity again. We need to harness the same care and compassion that allowed us to move forward then, to help us move through the deadly emergency we face today.
“Nineteen years ago, we saw that when we work towards a common purpose, the capacity of the American people is nearly limitless. As we seek answers to how we can possibly get through these unprecedented times, we need look no further than to the humanity and courage that got us through the events we’re remembering today.”