Richmond, VA - Tim Kaine released the following statement in commemoration of the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and recognition of the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance.
“Today, Anne and I join all Americans in expressing our sincere appreciation for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, guard members, first responders, and others who work every day to keep us safe and secure at home and abroad.
“On this day eleven years ago our Commonwealth and our country were struck by an unimaginable act of terror. Even as we mourned, we resolved to honor the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost by better protecting our nation and rededicating ourselves to a national spirit of service. Our response included military action that took many of our best and bravest far from their families for months and years at a time. All Americans owe these men and women, and their families, a debt of gratitude. In particular, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of more than 6,500 service members who lost their lives in conflicts abroad since that day, including more than 2,000 in Afghanistan. We also pray for the safe return of the thousands of men and women who are serving in Afghanistan, as we speak.
“The tragedy of September 11, 2001 also reawakened a spirit of national unity and service that is seen in the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Our nation has always been at its best when we come together to support one another, as in the dark days following those terrible attacks. Since then, our Commonwealth and country have seen days of sorrow and joy, but we have never lost the unique sense of American optimism that our best days are still ahead of us.
“This eleventh anniversary coincides with an uplifting piece of news which marks a turning point in our response to the attacks. For the first time in a decade, every unit of the Virginia National Guard is home. Overseas deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other foreign theaters, as well as domestic responsibilities, took many of our guardsmen and women away from their families and friends. We know they may again be called to serve, but for now we celebrate their safe return and pray for the families of those who did not return home.”