New York City came to a standstill once again on the morning of September 11. Marking the 15th anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on American soil, hundreds of citizens gathered at ground zero to remember the brave souls and all lives lost.
Relatives of victims, survivors and dignitaries, gathered to hear the names of the nearly 3000 people who lost their lives on September 11, when hijacked planes were driven into the World Trade Centre, the Pentagon and a field near Shanksville in 2001.
“This idea of physical transformation is so real here,” Sept. 11 memorial President Joe Daniels said this week, according to TIME. But on this Sept. 11 itself, “bringing the focus back to why we did all this — which is to honor those that were lost — is something very intentional.”
President Obama read, what will be his last address at the September 11 memorial, remembering the victims and encouraging his country to rise above hate and come together to celebrate the importance of diversity.
“For we know that our diversity—our patchwork heritage—is not a weakness; it is still, and always will be, one of our greatest strengths,” he said. “This is the America that was attacked that September morning. This is the America that we must remain true to.”
“We remember, and we will never forget, the nearly 3,000 beautiful lives taken from us so cruelly—including 184 men, women and children here, the youngest just three years old. We honor the courage of those who put themselves in harm’s way to save people they never knew. We come together in prayer and in gratitude for the strength that has fortified us across these 15 years. And we renew the love and the faith that binds us together as one American family.
“Fifteen years may seem like a long time, but for the families who lost a piece of their heart that day, I imagine it can seem like just yesterday. Perhaps it’s the memory of a last kiss given to a spouse, or the last goodbye to a mother or father, a sister or a brother. We wonder how their lives might have unfolded, how their dreams might have taken shape. And I am mindful that no words we offer, or deeds we do, can ever truly erase the pain of their absence.”
“The question before us, as always, is: How do we preserve the legacy of those we lost? How do we live up to their example? And how do we keep their spirit alive in our own hearts?”
Watch the full speech below.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 11, 2016