Dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial

Uploaded by whitehouse on 11.09.2011

Jon Jarvis: I'm Jon Jarvis, the Director of the National Park Service,
and I am humbled to be here this morning with the families of the
heroes of Flight 93 to dedicate this Memorial
to your loved ones.
Today, we also recognize those who made this Memorial to the
passengers and crew of Flight 93 a reality,
people from this community, from this state,
and from across the nation who share an unwavering commitment
to make this field in Shanksville,
Pennsylvania an eternal tribute to those whose unselfish actions
spared lives of so many.
Thousands of people have made the journey to be here in this
solemn place, and millions more are watching or listening to
this ceremony.
Please, welcome you all.
Let me also welcome several of our distinguished guests,
Speaker of the House, John Boehner.
Members of the Congressional Delegation here with us as well.
There are many state elected officials here as well
representing the State of Pennsylvania.
And there are many local officials who have been so
instrumental in protecting this site over the years.
Ten years ago, Flight 93 took off from Newark, New Jersey,
bound for San Francisco.
Terrorists hijacked that plane and three others that terrible
day as part of an organized attack on this country.
Now, hijackers turned the plane toward Washington, D.C., aimed,
we believe, at the United States Capitol,
where both the House and the Senate were in session.
They never made it.
Because of the determination and valor of the passengers and crew
of Flight 93, that plane crashed in this field,
less than 20 minutes by air from its presumed target.
In the days that followed, as the courageous story of
what happened aboard Flight 93 emerged,
the flag that had been at half staff above the U.S.
Capitol was brought here by Senators Arlen Specter and
Rick Santorum to fly as a solemn tribute above the
recovery personnel and the investigators as they sorted
through the wreckage.
In just a moment, following the presentation of the colors of
the National Park Service Honor Guard,
I ask that you turn your attention to the flagpole behind
you as two FBI agents who were here during that investigation
will once gain raise that flag, the flag that flew over the U.S.
Capitol on September 11th as the first flag to fly over this
permanent memorial.
As we dedicate this memorial and commemorate the inspiring story
it tells, those who lost their lives are never far from our
thoughts or from the thoughts of those who were spared by
their actions.
Among us today are people who were in the Capitol or at the
White House on September 11th.
I would ask them to please stand.
Now, I would invite everyone to stand for the invocation offered
by Father Daniel Coughlin who was Chaplin of the House of
Representatives in 2001 and to remain standing for the singing
of the national anthem and the presentation of the colors.
Father Coughlin.
Father Coughlin: Let us pray. God bless America.
Here we stand, united in memory and dedication.
Here, a prayer rises from hallowed ground,
made secret by a great heroic self sacrifice
so others might live.
Here is found the beginning of a new national pledge of
allegiance, inspired by those who would grasp the few moments
given them to take matters into their own hands and
truly make a difference.
Resolved never to be victims of circumstance,
here true Americans, witness to a living truth beyond
themselves, their hope to free others who with them will change
the world.
Desirous to end terrorism and violence,
they became willing seed, planted for freedom's harvest.
Only unbelievers, Lord God, continue to seek a sign of your
love and forgiveness, for we know you have heard the prayers
murmured here over a decade.
Has this anguish been neglected too long?
Have we not witnessed enough?
Ordinary people, on their way to work or family reunion,
offer on the altar of this plane all they had, all they loved.
Then threatened, they refused to be paralyzed,
finding within themselves an art beyond politics.
They break the silence and decidedly act together.
They do only what is possible in an impossible situation.
Because they are your children, they find
within themselves true freedom.
From them, Lord, teach us how to release ourselves from the
seatbelt of economics and draw us together to rush forward to
the future, unafraid because you again give
us a sense of direction.
Lord, by this dedication, lift us from sin and death to renewed
faith and prayer.
Bring us and all our sisters and brothers to a new life,
for we place all our trust in you, both now and forever. Amen.
♪♪ (Star-Spangled Banner) ♪♪
Jon Jarvis: You may be seated.
This memorial is to 40 remarkable people.
In less than 30 minutes, they understood their situation,
voted on what to do, and acted.
Each of them is an American hero.
Poet Robert Pinsky will now share with us a reading and
then call the names of the passengers and crew.
As each name is read, representatives of the
first responders will toll the bells of remembrance.
Gordon Felt, President of the Families of Flight 93,
a steadfast supporter of this memorial and brother of Flight
93 passenger, Edward Felt, will then offer his thoughts on this
day on this memorial. Robert.
Robert Pinsky: Any people, a people, is what it remembers.
For us, the American people, Flight 93,
because we remember it, has become a significant part of
who we are and what we are as a people.
However, let's confess and acknowledge that in a communal
occasion of memory, and whenever we speak of memory,
we also are thinking about forgetting.
And we can't know what our great-grandchildren will
remember, but we know they will remember this.
There's always the fear of the waters of Lethe,
the river of forgetfulness.
In a beautiful two-line poem for the 19th century,
leafy is mentioned.
Here's the two line poem: On love, on grief,
on every human thing, time sprinkles Lethe's
water with his wing.
And it is true that on love and on grief,
forgetfulness is sometimes sprinkled.
The two very short poems I'm going to read to you deal first
with the way we can't help what we remember.
Nobody wanted to remember this event.
We didn't want to have the burden as was the
honor of this memory.
The first poem is about that helplessness that we remember,
whether we want to or not.
And the second poem involves the redeeming decency,
reasonableness -- and in the case of these 40 people --
indeed, heroism.
The first poem, about needing to remember,
even if you don't want to, about the way the world has changed.
Like many great things about events,
this poem is written decades before September 11th by the
great Brazilian poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade.
It's called "Souvenir of the Ancient World".
Clara strolled in the garden with the children.
The sky was green over the grass,
The water was golden under the bridges,
Other elements were blue and rose and orange.
A policeman smiled.
Bicycles passed.
A girl stepped onto the lawn to catch a bird.
The whole world, Germany, China, all was quiet around Clara.
The children looked at the sky.
It was not forbidden.
Mouth, nose, eyes were open.
There was no danger.
What Clara feared were the flu, the heat, the insects.
Clara feared missing the eleven o'clock trolley,
waiting for letters slow to arrive,
not always being able to wear a new dress.
But she strolled in the garden in the morning.
They had gardens.
They had mornings in those days.
That's a poem about a cataclysmic event happening.
And it seems there will be no more gardens.
Second poem I'll read to you before reading the 40 names
also is not written in English.
It's by the great polish poet, Czeslaw Milosz.
I'll read it in my translation.
The poem is called "Incantation".
And for me, it evokes the fact that these people,
when they got on the airplane, had no intention of being
heroes, voting, protecting.
They wanted to go somewhere on ordinary,
reasonable human business.
And then their imagination was challenged by disaster.
Human reason is beautiful and invincible.
No bars, no barbed wire, no pulping of books,
no sentence of banishment can prevail against it.
It establishes the universal ideas in language and guides
our hand so we write Truth and Justice with capital letters,
lie and oppression with small.
It puts what should be above things as they are.
It is an enemy of despair and a friend of hope.
It does not know Jew from Greek or slave from master,
giving us the estate of the world to manage.
It saves austere and transparent phrases from the filthy discord
of tortured words.
It says that everything is new under the sun,
opens the congealed fist of the past.
Beautiful and very young are Philo-Sophia And poetry,
her ally in the service of the good.
As late as yesterday, nature celebrated their birth.
The news was brought to the mountains by a unicorn
and an echo.
Their friendship will be glorious.
Their time has no limit.
Their enemies have delivered themselves to destruction.
I'll now say the 40 names.
Christian Adams
(bell tolls)
Lorraine G. Bay
(bell tolls)
Todd M. Beamer
(bell tolls)
Alan Anthony Beaven
(bell tolls)
Mark Bingham
(bell tolls)
Deora Francis Bodley
(bell tolls)
Sarah W. Bradshaw
(bell tolls)
Marian R. Britton
(bell tolls)
Thomas E. Burnett, Jr.
(bell tolls)
William Joseph Cashman
(bell tolls)
Georgine Rose Corrigan
(bell tolls)
Patricia Cushing
(bell tolls)
Jason M. Dahl
(bell tolls)
Joseph DeLuca
(bell tolls)
Patrick Joseph Driscoll
(bell tolls)
Edward Porter Felt
(bell tolls)
Jane C. Folger
(bell tolls)
Colleen L. Fraser
(bell tolls)
Andrew "Sunny" Garcia
(bell tolls)
Jeremy Logan Glick
(bell tolls)
Kristin Osterholm White Gould
(bell tolls)
Lauren Cartuzi Grandcolas
(bell tolls)
and unborn child
(bell tolls)
Wanda Anita Green
(bell tolls)
Donald Freeman Greene
(bell tolls)
Linda Gronlund
(bell tolls)
Richard J. Guadagno
(bell tolls)
LeRoy Homer
(bell tolls)
Toshiya Kuge
(bell tolls)
CeeCee Ross Lyles
(bell tolls)
Hilda Marcin
(bell tolls)
Waleska Martinez
(bell tolls)
Nicole Carol Miller
(bell tolls)
Lewis J. Nacke, II
(bell tolls)
Donald Arthur Peterson
(bell tolls)
Jean Hoadley Peterson
(bell tolls)
Mark David Rothenberg
(bell tolls)
Christine Ann Snyder
(bell tolls)
John Talignani
(bell tolls)
Honor Elizabeth Wainio
(bell tolls)
Deborah Jacobs Welsh
(bell tolls)
♪♪ (bagpipes playing) ♪♪
Gordon Felt: Vice President Biden, President Bush, President Clinton,
Secretary Salazar, Speaker Boehner, friends, families,
and all those that chose to take time today to share in
the bittersweet celebration of this memorial dedication,
thank you for honoring the memory of the passengers and
crew of United Flight 93 with your presence.
Ten years ago, we first came to this hallowed ground.
We were devastated, nearly broken.
Our lives had changed in an instant and at a time when we
least expected the potential for such evil in the world.
Today, with the dedication of the Flight 93 National Memorial,
we are assured that the enduring legacy of our loved ones and
their collective actions on September 11, 2001 will
be preserved, providing comfort, inspiration,
and education for future generations.
It has been a long road to this very day.
It seems to have past in an instant.
So many hurdles, so many steps to take, procedures to follow.
Only a project as worthy as this could sustain a level of
dedication on the part of so many that would see us through
to this dedication on this 10th anniversary.
On this occasion, it is proper and fitting to acknowledge those
first responders joining us today that were called to action
within minutes of the crash of Flight 93.
As the course of our lives was so violently altered that day,
they heard the call to duty and, in their own way,
were the first to honor our heroes through their actions.
This level of action, dedication,
and compassion within the Somerset County community
and surrounding areas on the morning of September 11th, 2001,
and during the period of recovery and investigation
was not unique, but rather the norm.
Whether it is the ambassadors standing vigil here at the
memorial, volunteers working with the National Park Service
to preserve artifacts and oral histories,
or community members opening their homes and hearts to
families in our time of grief, this community has embraced
this memorial project with all the dignity, grace,
and honor I've come to realize is pervasive here
in southwestern Pennsylvania, and across the Commonwealth
to Harrisburg.
Senator Casey, Senator Toomey, Representative Shuster,
Representative Critz, the entire Pennsylvania delegation,
as well as long-time champions of the Flight 93 National
Memorial, former Governor Rendell, former Governor Ridge,
Senator Specter and the late Congressman Murtha,
you have honored our government's commitment
to be an active partner in the development of this project.
With such upheaval in our world today you've continued to fight
the good fight in order to ensure this project has stayed
on schedule and is continued to be appropriately funded.
To the families, this sacred ground holds a
deep and special significance.
This is the final resting place of the crew and passengers of
Flight 93, and we have worked hard to ensure that it is
treated with the proper care and respect.
We are grateful to Secretary Salazar and the National Park
Service for their leadership in this memorial project,
as well as for their current and future
stewardship of this lands.
Superintendent Newlin, the Project Manager Reinbold,
former Superintendent Hanley and the entire team of rangers,
ambassadors and volunteers, we trust that you will continue to
be the fierce advocates for our loved ones, moving forward,
that you have demonstrated to be thus far.
For while we are dedicating a memorial on this day,
our job is not done.
We look forward to a timely completion of this memorial
project so that as future generations come to Somerset
County seeking answers, they will have the ability to
experience the complete vision of the memorial design.
The story of Flight 93 is one that resonates with all that
would hold near to their hearts the rule of law,
the love of family, and the desire to control the destiny
of one's life.
Over 70,000 people from across the globe have demonstrated
their support for the Flight 93 National Memorial through
financial support, and nearly 1.5 million individuals have
already come to this sacred ground in order to pay their
respects to our 40 heroes.
They have come asking questions, seeking perspective,
as well as to tell their own stories and experiences of
September 11th, 2001.
All that have made the pilgrimage to this site,
all that have worked tirelessly to create this memorial,
and all of those that refuse to forget the individuals and their
collective actions honor the 40 crew and passengers
of United Flight 93.
We must choose to be inspired by the story of Flight 93,
and seize the opportunity to hold fast to the hard-fought
lessons learned on this sacred ground just ten short years ago.
As long as we continue to remember the actions of our
loved ones, they remain alive in our hearts and in the hearts of
our nation.
Thank you.
Sarah McLachlan: ♪♪ (singing: I Will Remember You) ♪♪
Jon Jarvis: Thank you, thank you Sarah McLachlan -- that was beautiful
-- for joining us today and for that perfect piece.
This memorial would not have been possible without the strong
and unwavering support of individuals, governments,
groups, corporations and foundations from across the
country that have made personal and financial commitments to see
it through.
We welcome representatives of several of those groups.
The first is Chris Sullivan, Chairman of the Flight 93
Capital Campaign and Vice Chairman of the National
Park Foundation.
Chris Sullivan: Thank you, Jon, and thank you for all that you've done for the
Flight 93 National Memorial.
Your leadership is remarkable.
Thank you very much, Jon.
As a fund raising partner of the National Park Service,
the National Parks Foundation is privileged to work with a
dedicated group of partners.
The corporation, businesses, foundations and other
organizations, the law firm of Porter Wright,
who did pro bono work on the land,
who are committed to protecting this hallowed ground,
yet none of this, nobody has given more than the relatives
and family members of the 40 men and women of Flight 93.
They feel the weight of the loss and we admire you for your
courage, your determination, your commitment,
and your persistence in seeing this National Memorial becomes a
reality, and we're very excited that today the first step of
that is being completed.
This is an important endeavor to create a permanent place
of recognition of the heroes, your loved ones,
so that each generation knows of the incredible heroism,
sacrifice, and horror that took place here ten years ago.
I would like to especially thank our honorary co-chairmen,
General Tommy Franks and Governor Tom Ridge,
for first asking me to participate,
but more for your numerous trips and meetings with donors and
your ongoing and positive enthusiasm and inspiration
to see this effort through.
I want you two to stand up so everybody can say thank you.
As Gordy mentioned, some 75,000 individuals and organizations
have made commitments to this national memorial.
These donations, both large and small,
inspire us to continue to move forward in order to fulfill the
promise we made ten years ago to remember these brave souls
on board Flight 93.
Your names will forever be recognized in our honor roll,
as well as in our hearts for your extraordinary generosity.
Thank you for your part in making and dedicating this
national memorial today.
Though over 1.5 million visitors from around the world have
visited the memorial, today marks the first time that we
walk across the plaza and stand before this wall,
and come face with the quiet meadow,
surrounded by thousands of others who share the
memories of 9/11.
Visiting here stirs the memories and emotions that are still raw.
We reflect -- and we do -- reflect on the incredible
courage and conviction of the heroes of Flight 93,
as well as the heartbreak and the sorrow of their loved ones.
We are thankful that these ordinary citizens stood up and
stopped another deadly and destructive attack
on our nation.
We'd like to thank five organizations for underwriting
today's events: Alcoa Foundation, Bank of America,
Erie Insurance, Highmark, and Verizon.
Thank you.
Today's dedication marks an important milestone in the
history of progress of the Flight 93 National Memorial,
but it's not the final step in the journey of
healing and remembrance.
What we see today is only part of the memorial.
Behind you will be a visitor's center filled with learning
resources and public programs, 40 memorial groves encircling
the vast Field of Honor, and a Tower of Voices whose tones will
echo across this land.
America has a long tradition of honoring its heroes in national
parks, from the calm waters of Pearl Harbor,
to the majestic mountains of Mount Rushmore,
to the enduring legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
We are pleased that these 40 men and women,
the heroes of Flight 93, will be so honored.
We are confident we can realize the full vision
of the national memorial.
We ask for your continued support and ask you to encourage
others to learn more about our efforts and go to if you can get them to participate.
This has been a remarkable journey, and again,
we have still work to do, but thank you, families.
With your inspiration to all of us,
we're going to get this done.
With that, I'd like to present Secretary of the Interior
Ken Salazar, who's been just absolutely fantastic
in these efforts.
Mr. Secretary.
Secretary Salazar: Thank you very much, and good afternoon to all of you and to
Vice President Biden, to Dr. Biden, to President Clinton,
to President Bush, to Mrs. Bush, to Speaker Boehner,
and Senators Casey and Toomey, and all the members of the
Congressional delegation, the elected officials,
but especially to the families today of Flight 93 who have
worked so hard to make this day possible.
We join together as friends and as families, as citizens,
to forge from our memories an enduring monument to love,
courage, and sacrifice.
In one morning, a turn of history and a rush of heroes
forever changed this land and this nation and this world.
The battle that began six miles overhead ended with a roar of
engines in this area behind us in the Stonycreek River.
Since that day, millions of Americans have come to honor
their heroes of Flight 93.
They have brought to this hallowed ground their pictures,
their letters, and their prayers.
And the people of this land, themselves survivors and
witnesses and first responders, welcomed those who came.
They helped us mourn, they helped us reflect,
and they helped us build a memorial for all of America
and all the world for all time to see right in this place.
To the citizens of Somerset County and to those who led that
effort, including Governor Ridge and Governor Rendell and General
Franks and so many others, we thank you for making
this day possible.
To the landowners of this place in Somerset County who gave of
their property to this nation so that we might honor those
who gave their lives here, we thank you.
And to the architect, Paul Murdochk,
who kept true to the landscape and to this event,
your design has moved us, our hearts, from the beginning.
To the families of Flight 93, whom I have come to know well
over the years, and to the Flight 93 Advisory Commission,
the Flight 93 Memorial Task Force,
the National Park Foundation, and the relentless and undying
efforts of Neil Mulholland, its president,
and to all Pennsylvania's elected officials,
thank you for your leadership and for your vision.
To the tens of thousands of citizens who have donated to
this cause, more than 75,000 so far, you honor us all.
And to the families themselves who have suffered the
unspeakable tragedy but who rededicated themselves so deeply
to protecting this final resting place,
their partnership in this process, in this place,
will ensure that the legacy of your loved
ones is never forgotten.
I am honored and I am humbled to have worked with all of you to
make this day happen, so we will never forget those heroes who
gave their lives on this hallowed ground.
Today this special place, these 2200 acres here,
enter the care and trust of the Department of the Interior and
the National Park Service as the 389th unit of the
National Park System.
It joins the hallowed grounds of Gettysburg and Yorktowne,
Selma and Pearl Harbor, as a place where patriots gave their
lives for this nation.
Here, like so many lands and sites we protect,
we are reminded of that which binds us as one people.
We are reminded that we all share in our nation's triumphs,
as well as its trials.
We share dreams of peace and prosperity,
and we are reminded that we stand up for one another,
fight for each other, and defend the rights and dignity endowed
to all humankind.
The heroism of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 will
endure forever.
They will live in the hearts of visitors moved by the sights and
sounds of this place.
The field of honor.
The groves of trees.
The wind chimes that will one day be heard throughout
this landscape.
On behalf of the men and women of the National Park Service and
the Department of Interior, we pledge on behalf of President
Obama, on behalf of this nation's citizens,
we pledge to guard this hallowed ground so that all who visit may
learn what happened here.
We will tell the story of Flight 93 and its heroic 40 passengers.
We will ensure that the 40 patriots who gave their lives
are never forgotten, and we will see to it that the American
values so evident that day, determination,
resilience and service, continue to inspire us, guide us,
and give us hope for our future.
Now it is my honor to read a letter from President Carter,
who was not able to come, but asked that I read this letter
to all of you who are assembled here.
He says, "I join with all of you in the dedication of the Flight
93 Memorial, in the desire to honor and remember the men and
women who died here ten years ago tomorrow.
At a time of great sadness, we nevertheless were inspired by
the courage and sacrifice manifested by the passengers
and crew of United Flight 93.
Our nation was stricken by an unprecedented attack that
brought death and injury to thousands of people,
and suffering to millions in the United States and
around the world.
I recognize that personal losses of the families and friends of
those who perished in New York and Washington,
as well as Pennsylvania.
They receive my deepest condolences.
All of us Americans suffered and found it difficult to understand
such evil acts.
The proper response includes an enhanced defense against
terrorism and a renewed dedication to the values
that make the United States a great nation.
A commitment to truth, justice, peace, freedom, humility,
human rights, and generosity.
The creation of this National Memorial Park will help us
remember what we have lost and what we must do.
I expect it to be an inspiration and a comfort to all of us.
Roslyn and I send our congratulations to those
responsible for this memorial, and our prayers for consolation
and hope.
Sincerely, Jimmy Carter."
It is my honor to present to all of you here in Somerset County,
in Pennsylvania, the 43rd President of the United States,
George W. Bush.
Former President George W. Bush: Thank you very much.
Mr. Secretary, thank you very much.
Mr. Vice President, Dr. Biden, President Clinton, Mr. Speaker,
members of Congress.
My friends Tommy Franks and Tom Ridge,
thank you for helping raise the money for this memorial.
Members of the National Park Service and the National Park
Foundation, all those who supported this memorial,
but most importantly the families of Flight 93.
Laura and I are honored to join you in dedicating this memorial
to the heroes of Flight 93.
When the sun rose in the Pennsylvania sky ten years
ago tomorrow, it was a peaceful September morning.
By the time it set, nearly 3,000 people were gone,
the most lives lost on American soil in a single day since the
battle of Antietam.
With the distance of a decade, 9/11 can feel like a part of a
different era.
But for the families of the men and women stolen,
some of who've joined us today, that day will never
feel like history.
The memory of that morning is fresh, and so is the pain.
America shares your grief, we pray for your comfort,
and we honor your loved ones.
September the 11th, 2001, innocent men and women went to
work at the World Trade Center, they reported for duty at the
Pentagon, they boarded American Flights 11 and 77,
United Flights 93 and 175.
They did nothing to provoke or deserve the deliberate act of
murderer that al Qaeda carried out.
One of the lessons of 9/11 is that evil is real,
and so is courage.
When the plane struck the World Trade Center,
firefighters and police officers charged up the
stairs into the flames.
As the towers neared collapse, they continued
the rescue efforts.
Ultimately more than 400 police officers and firefighters gave
their lives.
Among them was the chief of the New York City Fire Department
Peter Ganci.
As a colleague put it, he would never ask anyone to do something
he didn't do himself.
Pentagon service members and civilians pulled friends and
strangers from burning rubble.
One Special Forces soldier recalls reaching through a
cloud of smoke in search of the wounded.
As he entered one room, he prayed to find someone alive.
He discovered a severely burned woman and carried her to safety.
They later met in the hospital, where she explained that she'd
been praying for rescue.
She called him her guardian angel.
And then there's the extraordinary story
we commemorate here.
Aboard United Airlines Flight 93 were college students from
California, an ironworker from New Jersey,
veterans of the Korean War and World War II,
citizens of Germany and Japan, a pilot who had rearranged his
schedule so that he could take his wife on a vacation to
celebrate their anniversary.
When the passengers and crew realized the plane had been
hijacked, they reported the news calmly.
When they learned that the terrorists had crashed other
planes into targets on the ground,
they accepted greater responsibilities.
In the back of the cabin, the passengers gathered
to devise a strategy.
At the moment America's democracy was under attack,
our citizens defied their captors by holding a vote.
The choice they made would cost them their lives,
and they knew it.
Many passengers called their loved ones to say good-bye,
then hung up to perform their final act.
One said, "They're getting ready to break into the cockpit.
I have to go. I love you."
Another said, "It's up to us.
I think we can do it."
And one of the most stirring accounts, Todd Beamer,
a father of two with a pregnant wife at home in New Jersey,
asked the Airfone operator to join him in reciting the
Lord's Prayer.
Then he helped lead the charge to the front of the plane with
the words, "Let's roll."
With their selfless act, the men and women who stormed the
cockpit lived out the words, "Greater love hath no man than
this, that a man lay down his life for friends."
And with their brave decision they launched the first
counteroffensive of the War on Terror.
The most likely target of the hijacked plane was the United
States Capitol.
We'll never know how many innocent people might have been
lost, but we do know this: Americans are alive today
because the passengers and crew of Flight 93 chose to act,
and our nation will be forever grateful.
The 40 souls who perished on the plane left a great deal behind.
They left spouses and children and grandchildren
who miss them dearly.
They left successful businesses and promising careers,
and a lifetime of dreams that they will never have the chance
to fulfill.
They left something else: A legacy of bravery and
selflessness that will always inspire America.
For generations people will study the flight,
the story of the Flight 93.
They will learn that individual choices make a difference,
that love and sacrifice can triumph over evil and hate,
and that what happened above this Pennsylvania field ranks
among the most courageous acts in American history.
The memorial we dedicate today will ensure that our nation
always remembers those lost here on 9/11,
but we have a duty beyond memory.
We have a duty beyond honoring.
We have a duty to live our lives in a way that upholds the ideals
for which the men and women gave their lives.
To build a living memorial to their courage and sacrifice.
We have a duty to find common purpose as a nation.
In the days after 9/11 the response came like a single
hand over a single heart.
Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle gathered on
the steps of the Capitol and sang, "God Bless America."
Neighbors reached out to neighbors of all
backgrounds and beliefs.
In the past decade our country has been tested by natural
disaster, economic turmoil, anxieties and challenges
here at home and abroad.
There have been spirited debates along the way.
It's the essence of democracy.
But Americans have never been defined by our disagreements.
Whatever challenges we face today and in the future,
we must never lose faith in our ability to meet them together.
We must never allow our differences to
harden into divisions.
Second, we have a duty to remain engaged in the world.
9/11 proved that the conditions in the country on the other side
of the world can have an impact on our own streets.
It might be tempting to think it doesn't matter what happens to a
villager in Afghanistan or a child in Africa,
but the temptation of isolation is deadly wrong.
The war of oppression, anger and resentment will be a source of
never ending violence and threats.
A world of dignity, liberty and hope will be safer and
better for all.
And the surest way to move towards that vision is for
the United States of America to lead the cause of freedom.
Finally, we each have a duty to serve a cause
larger than ourselves.
The passengers aboard Flight 93 set an example
that inspires us all.
Many have followed their path of service by donating blood
or mentoring a child or volunteering in desperate
corners of the earth.
Some have devoted their careers to analyzing intelligence or
protecting our borders and securing our skies.
Others have made the noble choice to defend
our nation in battle.
For ten years our troops have risked and given their lives
to prevent our enemies from attacking America again.
They have kept us safe.
They have made us proud.
And they have upheld the spirit of service shown by
the passengers on Flight 93.
Many years ago in 1863 another President came to dedicate a
memorial site in this state.
He told his audience that in a larger sense we cannot dedicate,
we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground.
For the brave souls who struggled there had consecrated
it far above our poor power to add or detract.
He added the world will little note nor long remember what we
say here but it can never forget what they did here.
So it is with Flight 93.
For as long as this memorial stands we will remember what
the men and women aboard the plane did here.
We will pay tribute to the courage they showed,
the sacrifice they made, and the lives they spared.
The United States will never forget!
May God bless you all.
Former President Bill Clinton: Before President Bush came up to speak,
I asked him if he was having a hard time.
And he said, I was doing fine until I looked at you.
All of you.
Last night Hillary came home after spending the day in New
York and her eyes were red because ten years ago she was
the Senator representing those 343 firemen and nearly 900
people from Canter Fitzgerald who died and all the others.
As we remember what happened in New York at the Pentagon and
here, all the rest of us have to honor those who were lost,
to thank those who loved them for keeping their memory alive,
raising their children, and finding the strength to go
on with your own lives.
I think we should also thank President Bush and those who
served with him, Vice President Biden, President Obama,
those who served with them for keeping us from being
attacked again.
I thank them for that.
Speaker Boehner, I thank you and the Members of the Congress who
are here and who have been in the Congress for the last ten
years trying to respond to the findings of the 9/11 Commission
and improve our ability to secure our homeland.
But here in this place we honor something more.
I was very moved, as you were, when President Bush calmly
recounted the facts of what happened with your loved ones
over this field a decade ago.
There has always been a special place in the common memory for
people who deliberately, knowingly, certainly,
lay down their lives for other people to live.
President Bush is from Texas.
I sometimes think since I grew up in Arkansas,
that is the more important difference between us than
our partisan differences.
But every child I grew up with was raised on the memory of the
Alamo, the defining story of Texas. Why?
Because those people knew they were going to die.
But the time they bought and the casualties they inflicted in the
cause of freedom allowed the whole idea of Texas to survive.
And those who live there now to enjoy the life they do.
The first such great story I have been able to find that
reminds me of all your loved ones, however,
occurred almost 2500 years ago when the Greek King of Sparta,
facing a massive, massive Persian Army,
took 300 of his finest soldiers to a narrow pass
called Thermopylae.
There were thousands, upon thousands,
upon thousands of people.
They all knew they were going to die.
He told them that when they went.
And the enemy said, we are going to fill the air with so many
arrows that it will be dark!
And the Spartans said, fine, we will fight in the shade!
And they all died.
But the casualties they took and the time they bought saved the
people they loved.
This is something different.
For at the Alamo and at Thermopylae, they were soldiers.
They knew what they had to do.
Your loved ones just happened to be on a plane,
as Mr. Pensky said.
With almost no time to decide, they gave the entire country
an incalculable gift.
They saved the Capital from attack!
They saved God knows how many lives!
They saved the terrorists from claiming the symbolic victory of
smashing the center of American government!
And they did it as citizens.
They allowed us to survive as a country that could fight terror
and still maintain liberty and still welcome people from all
over the world, from every religion, and race, and culture,
as long as they shared our values.
Because ordinary people, given no time at all to decide,
did the right thing.
And 2500 years from now I hope and pray to God that people will
still remember this!
So since I am no longer in office,
I can do unpopular things.
I told the Secretary of Interior,
the head of your development program,
that I was aghast to find out we still need to raise $10 million
to finish this place and Speaker Boehner and I have already
volunteered to do a bipartisan event in Washington.
So let's get the show on the road.
And let's roll!
Thanks. And God bless you.
John Reynolds: President Clinton, thank you.
You know, it feels a bit like the rabbit who wanders into the
territory of eagles to speak after these folks here.
But the difference is the eagles are friends.
They're friends of every one of us here.
Thank you, each and every one of you.
My name is John Reynolds.
I'm the Chairman of the Federal Advisory Commission for the
Flight 93 National Memorial.
My colleagues and associates on the Commission are interspersed
amongst all of us here today.
It's my pleasure to represent an incredible partnership and its
focused constant attention and action over the last decade.
It's a partnership that is mostly invisible and unknown
except to a few, yet it created a vision coming to fruition here
as a result of its diversity and commitment.
It has created this national memorial; this national park.
In a formal, sense the partnership consists of
five groups: They are the families of Flight 93,
family members of the 40 heroes.
The Flight 93 task force composed of family members,
local people from Shanksville, Somerset County,
Pittsburgh and the Commonwealth and others.
They were the original group of citizens who imagined a national
memorial here, worked to consensus and took action to
convince the Congress and President Bush to act.
The Flight 93 Advisory Commission is the direct link
between everyone else and the Department of Interior
and the National Park Service.
It is made up of 15 people representing the local
community, the families, philanthropic, corporate
and national interests, and nationally recognized
public historians.
The National Park Foundation, the national fundraising arm of
the partnership and the National Parks Service,
the keeper of the nation's most important heritage from
Yellowstone to the Statute of Liberty,
from Concord and Lexington to Manassas and Shiloh to here.
All for "We the People" to enjoy,
to reflect upon and to learn about our nation from.
These partners, however, barely reflect the of the people who
have given of themselves to arrive and today.
They include the Flight 93 Ambassadors, local people
who took it upon themselves to help visitors starting
within days of 9/11.
First responders and the coroner.
The newly formed friends of Flight 93.
All of you please join.
Volunteers, contractors, consultants,
public office holders, government employees,
construction workers and governors, generals,
cabinet members, Senators, Congressmen,
Presidents and First Ladies, plus over 75,000
individuals who have donated their money to create this
memorial and the over 1,000 people and firms who shared
their vision and international design competition.
This outpouring has been and continues to be a truly
American undertaking.
No one asks, except to be friendly, who are you?
Where are you from?
Why are you here?
How come you care?
All that is asked is sincerity.
The result stands before us today.
The people have done this.
Paul and Milena Murdoch architects and Warren Byrd,
landscape architect, formally and beautifully designed what
we see here today and it is what is left to come.
Their real genius, though, is that they joined the chorus of
our partnership of people.
Listened to it and to the land and to the sky and played back
their souls to create this representation of thanks,
honor and spirit of the 40 heroes of Flight 93 who acted
together, fought back, prayed, gave their lives for us all
and our nation.
The heroes lie there by that big solid stone.
They stand tall, mute, and solid,
speaking to us forever in these 40 panels, each named,
each equal, yet as evidenced in the unique veining and each
marble slice, individuals who knowingly chose,
voted and then took actions to avert an even greater
American tragedy.
They are the courage of free peoples everywhere.
They are our past; they are our future.
This place is the people's gift to America.
A national park, a national memorial for as long as this
nation shall live.
It is my great and humble honor to present this memorial on
behalf of the people of this wonderful partnership to all
of the people of the United States of America.
Will all of you please follow Mr. Jarvis.
Thank you, very much.
♪♪ (bugles playing "America") ♪♪
The Vice President: Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow Americans,
I am honored to be standing here today,
standing with two former Presidents: President Clinton,
as he said, the passengers on Flight 93 knew that our common
humanity is what united us most.
Well, Mr. President, the same can be said of you.
You have spent your time as President and the years since
deeply committed to embracing and strengthening
our common humanity.
And Mr. President, we all thank you for what you have done and
what you continue to do.
Let me also recognize the man responsible for bringing our
country together at a time when it could have been torn apart,
for making it clear that America could not be brought to her
knees and helping us stand tall and strike back,
President George W. Bush.
In the darkest hour of our generation,
your voice and leadership, Mr. President,
helped us find our way.
And for that you deserve our gratitude for a long, long time.
And I say now to the families who gathered here today,
I know what it's like to receive that call out of the blue.
Like a bolt out of the blue.
And I know this is a bittersweet moment for you.
And I want to tell you, you have a lot more courage than I had.
You have a lot more courage just by being here today because I
know, many others know, how hard it is to re-live these moments
because it brings everything, brings everything back in stark,
stark relief and stark, stark detail.
But I also know, like your loved ones,
what you probably don't know: That you are literally an
inspiration for the thousands of people across this country who
right now are feeling the loss of an intense tragedy that they
are suffering.
They know, looking at you, watching you on television
today, that there is hope to be found after tragedy.
That there is rebirth in the face of death.
You in a sense are as courageous as your family members were and
we owe you all for being here today.
Just the act of being here.
We're here today to remember and honor 40 men and women who gave
their lives so others could live theirs.
Decent, honorable women and men who never imagined ten years ago
tomorrow that when they said goodbye to their children,
when they kissed their loved ones goodbye and walked through
that door, that they were doing it for the very last time.
They didn't know the horror that awaited them.
But they confronted unimaginable fear and terror with a courage
that has been summoned only by the truest and the rarest of
American heroes, forty names etched on each of those panels
on the wall, the Wall of Names.
But more than that, their names are going to be,
as President Bush said, etched forever into American history.
They joined an incredibly elite list of woman and men on a long
history filled with ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things.
Men and women of undaunted courage,
uncommon resolve and a stubborn, stubborn perseverance in the
face of unfathomable challenges.
You know, we teach our children that these are qualities that
are ingrained into our national characters as Americans and I
believe they are.
They animate our national identity.
And I believe they'll continue to define America because of the
example of the men and women who we pay tribute today,
the passengers and the crew on Flight 93.
None of them, none of them asked for what happened.
They didn't go on that plane, they didn't board that plane
to fight a war.
But when they heard the news, when they found out what
happened in New York, they knew that they were going through
with something more than a high jacking.
They knew it was the opening shot in a new war,
and so they acted.
They acted as citizen patriots have acted since the beginning
of our country.
They stood up and they stood their ground.
They thought like Captain Parker said at Lexington and I quote
him, "if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!"
As many times as I recall and all of you who are not family
members, like me, have recalled this incident time and again
over the last ten years.
I never fail to be astonished, literally astonished by the
courage they demonstrated.
And so we stand where it began.
We think of them, we think of our nation,
we think of our history, and we think of the future.
And we think of it because of them with a confidence knowing
that ordinary citizens will continue to stare down fear,
overwhelm evil, and bring forth hope from what seems to be none.
And although it will continue to amaze us and inspire us when it
happens, it should not surprise us.
For that heroism is who we are.
And that courage lies deepest and beats loudest in the heart
of this nation.
We know that these 40 men and women were more than ordinary
Americans to all of you sitting in front of me.
They were more than passengers and crews.
They were already heroes!
They were already heroes to you.
They are the father that tucked you in bed at night;
they were the wife who knew your fears before you could express
them; they are the brother who lifted you up;
they were the daughter who made you laugh;
and they were the son who made you proud.
They are irreplaceable.
I know that.
We know that.
And we know and I know that no memorial, no words, no acts,
can fill the void that they left in your hearts.
My prayer for you is that ten years later their memory is able
to bring a smile to your lip before it brings a
tear to your eye.
And I hope you take comfort in knowing that a grateful nation
understands that your loved ones gave their lives in pursuit of
the noblest of earthly goals: Defending their country;
defending their families; and sacrificing their lives so we
could live ours!
Those of us who were in Washington that day,
without knowing it for sure at the time now know we owe them an
overwhelming special personal -- personal debt of gratitude.
To collect the spirit of your mother, your father,
your brother, your husband, your wife, your sister,
your best friend, that spirit lives on not only in you,
but in your country.
It lives on in the cross of steel made from the World
Trade Center beams placed in a pentagon shaped platform
that rests proudly outside the Shanksville Volunteer
Fire Department.
That cross of steel is an enduring symbol of the steel
and the spine of this region and the spine of this country and it
definitely lives on in a new generation of warriors,
the 9/11 generation.
Inspired by what happened here, 2.8 million young Americans
since 9/11, that 9/11 generation, have joined the United States
Armed Forces.
Thousands giving their lives and tens of thousands being wounded
to finish the war that began here.
Maya Angelou wrote, and I quote, "History,
despite its wrenching pain cannot be unlived, however,
if faced with courage, need not be lived again."
Ladies and Gentlemen, we are not here to unlive history,
we are here to honor those whose courage made history and is
going to inspire generations of Americans to come.
So I say to you, even as we struggle with this tragedy,
even as we grapple with the profound loss and devastating
grief, we can look up at the heavens and think of those
heroes and know, and know with certitude that there's not a
single solitary tragedy that America cannot overcome.
There is not a single moment of hardship that cannot be
transformed into one of national strength.
The seeds of doubt planted by those who wish to harm us will
instead grow into flowering meadows like this one where
we stand today, for they cannot, they cannot defeat
the American spirit.
We know this with certainty.
We know this with certainty because it's the history of
the journey of this country at every stage of our history.
As President Clinton knows, my mother used to say courage lies
in every heart, and she'd go on to say and the expectation
is that, Joey one day, it will be summonsed.
Courage lies in every heart and one day it will be summoned.
On September 11, 2001 at 9:57 a.m.
it was summonsed, and 40 incredible men and woman
answered the call.
They gave their lives.
And in doing so gave this country a new life.
We owe them.
We owe you a debt we can never repay.
Thank you all.
Thank you family members.
And may God bless you and may God protect our troops.
Sarah McLachlan: ♪♪ (singing: Arms of the Angel) ♪♪
Jon Jarvis: I would ask that you all remain standing for the
retirement of the colors, and the benediction by
Father Coughlin.
Father Coughlin: We bless you and we praise you, Lord God,
who unites the heavens and the earth.
We ask your blessing upon this hallowed place and all those
whose memory we call to mind today by name.
Grant them eternal rest, and we the living,
beg you to reward them for their sacrifice.
Grant consolation and confidence in the future to their families
and all who mourn them, their loss today.
Let's all of us, Lord, who gather here give us safe travel
and may peace (ck) our homes, our place of destination.
And as you transform this land with new growth,
deep in the commitment of those who wish to finish this work
begun, bless their efforts and bring it to completion.
Bless our nation, Lord, and all the nations of the earth that
your people may flourish in ordinary living of family and
business and life of government and that we might enjoy your
presence now and forever.
Jon Jarvis: As we bring this ceremony to close,
I want to thank each and every one of you for being here today.
For the families and friends who live with the losses of
September 11th, every day, this memorial is a small expression
of your nation's gratitude.
Those who you love are our heroes.
They are with us always, immortalized in this quiet field.
And you have my solemn vow as the director of the national
park service in representing the men and woman of that
organization that we will be here every day, every year,
every future generation to honor those heroes -- your husbands
and wives, your mothers and fathers,
your sons and daughters -- to tell their stories to make sure
that America and the world never forgets.
I would ask that everyone remain in their space while
our dignitaries step down the front steps here.
And the families, the memorial wall is yours for the next half
hour and yours alone.
So thank you all.
Thanks for coming.