Today, Americans commemorated the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. To honor those who were lost, September 11 has been designated as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama marked the anniversary by joining ceremonies at each of the three sites where the planes crashed ten years ago. President Obama issued a message for those who lost loved ones on that terrible day: "We can never replace all that you have lost. But what we can do, what we will do, is honor the memory of your loved ones by being the best country we can be, and by standing with you and your families, now and forever."
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton encouraged Americans to devote September 11 to service. The Secretary said, "On this 10th anniversary we can help redefine 9/11 for a new decade as a symbol of resilience and dedication to helping our neighbors. By committing a day or even an hour to serving others, we can transform the memory of grief into a hopeful future. We can create a living memorial to all the brave men and women who showed the world the best that America has to offer."
On Friday, September 9, 2011, Secretary Clinton and other dignitaries attended the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange to remember the victims of September 11, and those who selflessly aided the rescue and recovery effort. Later that day, Secretary Clinton outlined U.S. counterterrorism strategy in remarks at the John Jay School, and Ambassador Susan Rice addressed the United Nations' commemoration of September 11.
Earlier in the week, Assistant Secretary Esther Brimmer discussed U.S. priorities at the United Nations and underscored the importance of multilateral diplomacy, which provides the international community a mechanism to address Iran's failure to comply with its nuclear obligations and the famine in the Horn of Africa. Multilateral efforts are also critical to responding to challenges posed by non-communicable diseases and statelessness, as well as advancing global issues such as arms control, labor rights, and literacy. Assistant Secretary Brimmer will continue the conversation on multilateral diplomacy during a webcast September 15.
In other news, President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress to share a plan to create jobs and grow our economy: the American Jobs Act. Under Secretary Robert Hormats spotlighted several initiatives the State Department is taking to support the President's jobs agenda. As Under Secretary Hormats wrote, "We...recognize that a strong domestic economy, with high levels of employment and growth, is the fundamental base for a strong foreign and national security policy."
And, Secretary Clinton hosted a reception commemorating Eid ul-Fitr. During the reception, the Secretary said, "...The power of America has always been anchored in our ability to come together and move forward as one nation. This weekend, we will mark the 10th anniversary of September 11th. And we all lost something that day. In the ashes and the aftermaths, we knew that we had lost Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, men, women, young, old. And a decade later, that unity that we felt must continue to inspire and guide us. ...I hope we can recommit ourselves to the common cause of spreading peace, prosperity, understanding to all the people of the earth."