“Shipmates, my message to the Fleet for 9/11 as we mark the passage of 20 years since 9/11 – a day where terrorism darkened the doorstep of America and changed our lives forever. In the blink of an eye, planes crashed into New York City’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and Somerset County Pennsylvania, killing nearly 3,000 innocent Americans. The attacks also inflicted a devastating emotional toll, which many still feel today.
As we reflect on that day, we honor the service and sacrifice you and your families have made since 9/11, we salute the heroism of our first responders, and we remember the lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraq over the past two decades.
For me, people are the legacy of 9/11. People have devoted their lives to a cause greater than themselves. People have acted with conviction, courage, and a love of country. And people have dedicated their lives to ensuring an attack like that never happens again. You see, as long as brave men and women are willing to fight for freedom and justice, democracy will never fail.
In dark times, we all need examples of courage and character to light the way forward. Today and throughout our nation’s history, the valor of service members and first responders illuminate what we are capable of when we act on our highest principles.
While it may not always be easy to see, your decision to place service before self – and the decision of hundreds of thousands of men and women like you – will strengthen America for generations to come. This is how we honor the tragic events of 9/11.
Shipmates, let us pay solemn tribute to this day. And let us continue to rise together.
Never more proud to be your CNO.”
Source: United State Navy, CNO Adm. Mike Gilday