Obama, McCain observe 9/11 anniversary
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"No American living then should ever forget the heroism that occurred in the skies above this field on September 11, 2001. It is believed that the terrorists on United Flight 93 may have intended to crash the airplane into the United States Capitol. Hundreds if not thousands of people would have been at work in that building when that fateful moment occurred, and been destroyed along with a beautiful symbol of our freedom. They and, very possibly I, owe our lives to the passengers who summoned the courage and love necessary to deny our depraved and hateful enemies their terrible triumph.
"I have witnessed great courage and sacrifice for America's sake, but none greater than the sacrifice of those good people who grasped the gravity of the moment, understood the threat, and decided to fight back at the cost of their lives.
"I spoke at the memorial service for one of them, Mark Bingham. I acknowledged that few of us could say we loved our country as well as he and all the heroes of September 11 had. The only means we possess to thank them is to try to be as good an American as they were. We might fall well short of their standard, but there is honor in the effort.
"In the Gospel of John it is written, 'Greater love hath no man than this: that a man lay down his life for his friends.' Such was their love; a love so sublime that only God's love surpasses it. I am in awe of it as much as I am in debt to it. May God bless their souls."
Barack Obama released a statement earlier this morning:
"Today, we honor the memory of each and every life that was lost on September 11, 2001, and grieve with the family and friends who lost a loved one in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. We will never forget those who died. We will always remember the heroic efforts of our firefighters, police and emergency responders, and those who sacrificed their own lives on Flight 93 to protect their fellow Americans. And we give thanks for the Americans defending our security in our communities at home, and in our military abroad.
"On 9/11, Americans across our great country came together to stand with the families of the victims, to donate blood, to give to charity, and to say a prayer for our country. Let us renew that spirit of service and that sense of common purpose. Let us remember that the terrorists responsible for 9/11 are still at large, and must be brought to justice. Let us resolve to defeat terrorist networks, defend the American homeland, stand up for the enduring American values that we cherish, and seek a new birth of freedom at home and around the world."