President George W. Bush issued a proclamation naming September 11, 2003 as Patriot Day. The proclamation declares:
"Two years ago, more than 3,000 innocent people lost their lives when
a calm September morning was shattered by terrorists driven by hatred and
On that day, and in its aftermath, we saw the greatness of America in the bravery of victims; in the heroism of first responders who laid down their lives to save others; in the compassion of people who stepped forward to help those they had never met; and in the generosity of millions of Americans who enriched our country with acts of service and kindness.
Since that day, we have seen the greatness of America further demonstrated in the courage of our brave men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed in Afghanistan, in Iraq, and around the world to advance freedom and prevent terrorist attacks on America.
As we remember September 11, 2001, we reaffirm the vows made in the earliest hours of our grief and anger. As liberty's home and defender, America will not tire, will not falter, and will not fail in fighting for the safety and security of the American people and a world free from terrorism. We will continue to bring our enemies to justice or bring justice to them. This Patriot Day, we hold steady to this task."
DEPARTMENT OF LABOR
At exactly 8:46 am, the moment when the first plane struck in New York, a large flag was unfurled before a crowd of Department of Labor employees gathered on the steps of the south entrance to the Frances Perkins Building (FPB) to commemorate the second anniversary of September 11. In moving remarks before the unfurling, Secretary Elaine L. Chao honored the memories of those who were lost and prayed that their families and loved ones will be comforted.
She recalled heroes of that day including the brave rescuers who gave their lives to save others. She spoke of the generosity and compassion of our fellow Americans, the courageous men and women of the skilled building trades who reclaimed Ground Zero, and our men and women in uniform and Labor Department colleagues working to build a free and just society for the Iraqi people.
Immediately after the ceremony, events moved inside the FPB where attendees witnessed the unveiling of two bronze plaques near the Great Hall. These plaques will serve as permanent tributes to the innocent victims and heroes of September 11th and to our DOL colleagues who helped to deliver critical assistance in the aftermath.
The first plaque honors the victims, heroes and survivors of September 11th.
The other bronze plaque bears the following inscription:
"In recognition of our dedicated Department of Labor employees who worked at Ground Zero, the Pentagon, and throughout the United States to assist the victims and survivors of the attack of September 11, 2001. Your commitment, courage and compassion are an inspiration to us all."
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