Acting President Thomas N. Wilfrid
Good afternoon - colleagues, students and guests.
Thank you for joining us for this brief ceremony to commemorate the fifth anniversary of September 11, 2001, to remember and honor the victims of that day, especially those from Mercer County, and to reflect on what that day taught us about our world, and about how our world has changed since that day.
The events of September 11, 2001 are usually described as an attack upon America. They were, but they were more than that. They were an attack upon humanity. Those who died in the attacks that day were overwhelmingly American, but there were over 200 others from 36 other countries: British, Japanese, Colombian, Jamaican, Filipino, Mexican, German, Peruvian, Italian, Brazilian, Ecuadorian, Guyanese, Lebanese, Portuguese, Chinese, Congolese, Ghanaian, Haitian, Israeli, Australian, Belgian, French, Honduran, Indian, Indonesian, Irish, citizens of the Ivory Coast, Lithuanian, Moldavian, Nigerian, Russian, Swedish, Taiwanese, Ukrainian, Uzbek, and Venezuelan.
is so much easier, so much more cowardly, to destroy than it is to create.
By gathering here, at this institution of learning populated primarily
by Americans but also by people from all over the world, we affirm the
human spirit - the courageous, creative, constructive, collaborative,
peaceful, loving and beautiful human spirit, which is ultimately so much
more powerful than the forces of destruction.
Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes - Notes
Mercer County Freeholder Elizabeth Muoio:
September 11th means many things for many people. In our family that day five years ago had started out as a beautiful and happy one. I had just had my third child four days earlier and he was now home with us. His brother and sister left for school that gorgeous morning eager to tell anyone who would listen about their new baby brother. My husband had taken a few days off from work to help out with things at home and it seemed as if life couldn't be any better. Then the first plane hit the north tower and we sat in shock along with the rest of the nation watching the indescribable events of that day unfold. For our family, however, the tragedy of that day will always be inextricably linked with the joyous birth of our son in more ways than one, because had he not arrived when he did, my husband would have traveled to New York and spent the night of September 10th at the World Trade Center Marriott for a scheduled meeting on the morning of the 11th.
So yes, 9/11 taught us many things. As a nation we saw both the finest in human nature and the most despicable. We learned that we are a vulnerable nation but one that can come together in times of need and become a source of tremendous strength. And in my family, the most important lesson learned was that each and every day is a gift. It is a gift and an opportunity to make a difference. And because we are fortunate enough to live in the United States, that gift provides us with virtually limitless opportunities - regardless of our sex, race, religious or political beliefs.
The people who lost their lives on September 11th left for work that morning probably never thinking of themselves as symbols of our nation, but that is exactly what they were. They were targeted simply because they were Americans and because, for some, the democratic principles upon which our country was based are viewed as a threat. The terrorists through they could defeat that threat by striking at its very heart on September 11th. Well, they failed. And while it doesn't mean they won't keep trying, what we have to remember is that with each day we are given, with each of the limitless possibilities and opportunities we take advantage of in our lives, we defy what the terrorists try to achieve just as much as any amount of ammunition ever could.
So here today, we honor those who lost their lives on September 11th, and by taking to heart the lessons learned that day, we pledge that their sacrifices will not have been in vain.
you very much.
Reverend Robert Wittik
Wonderful God, and Maker of Heaven and Earth. We humbly pray that we may
always remember Your grace and mercy, and with appreciation may we faithfully
do Your will. You have given us this nation as our shared heritage. God...bless
America...always...with honest industry, trughful education, heartfelt
compassion, strong families, safe streets, and an honorable way of life.
we always remember that fateful day five years ago! Deconstruct all terrorist
networks everywhere. "Deliver us from evil," and the Evil One,
and from all those who would choose a culture of death over Your gift
of life. Save us from those who would pervert true freedom and justice,
and from all those who serve of the false gods of hatred, violence, murder
and war. For we know not from where our enemies will emerge next, nor
the harm that they are currently plotting against us.
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