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Administrator Doan Honors 9/11 Victims and Heroes at Remembrance Ceremony

Remarks by
Lurita Doan
Administrator
U.S. General Services Administration
9/11 Remembrance Ceremony
Washington, DC
September 11, 2007


Six years …

It seems inconceivable that so much time has passed …And how vivid the images remain …The perfect, late summer morning …The air warm, the skies, blue, all of us going about our business … unaware that the world was about to change.

Six years …

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you so much for attending today’s remembrance ceremony. I am Lurita Doan, Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration. We have gathered today to honor the men, women and children who lost their lives on September 11, 2001.

We’re here to honor those who saved lives and those who lost their lives saving others. We’re here to express our gratitude … for our families, for our friends, and for our freedom.

More than 3,000 innocent Americans died on 9-11 in New York, at the Pentagon, and in the quiet fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania.  And more than 3,700 (3,760 as of late last week) of our service men and women have perished in Iraq fighting the same terrorist ideology that led to the attacks on our homeland.

Six years…

They knocked down buildings because they could not shake our resolve …They killed innocents because they could not touch our faith …They chose violence because their ideology of hate could not stand against our ideals of freedom … and liberty … and democracy.

9-11 did one other thing – it redefined what it means to be a civil servant. All government agencies stepped up that day. That includes our folks at GSA, who provided everything needed to get our federal colleagues up and running.

I’m proud of them, and filled with awe and humility at the thousands of selfless acts of heroism performed by those who, until that moment, were simply average Americans. We learned on 9-11 that the “Average American” is someone pretty special. I’m going to ask that as you remember and pay tribute to the patriots of 9-11, that you also celebrate the spirit of America.

America remains the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. No one will keep that light from shining.

We stand today outside a building named for our 40th President. Ronald Reagan said there is no weapon or arsenal so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

He was so right.

Thank you, and God bless America.