Today we observe Patriot Day, the National Day of Service and Remembrance! We remember and honor those who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
On September 11, 2001, four planes were hijacked. The hijackers then deliberately flew three of the planes into two important buildings, the Pentagon in Washington DC and the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York. The fourth crashed into a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The loss of life and damage that these hijackings caused form the largest act of terrorism ever on United States soil. Nearly 3000 people died in the attacks and the economic impact was immense.
Some ways that we observe this day are: the Flag of the United States is flown at half-staff on all U.S. government buildings, establishments and vessels throughout the world. Flags are also encouraged to be flown at half-staff by businesses and to be displayed by citizens at their homes. A moment of silence is observed to correspond with the attacks, beginning at 8:46 a.m. (EDT), the time the first plane hit the World Trade Center. Although Patriot Day is not a federal holiday, many memorial ceremonies are held for the victims. Volunteer and service opportunities are encouraged on this day and are coordinated by the Cooperation for National and Community Service.
Every American has been touched in some way by 9-11. Team members from Nashville were on-site shortly after 9-11 assisting in the recovery efforts. Many in the military have since answered the call to duty to fight the War on Terrorism. Many civilian team members of the Department of Defense and the Department of the Army have served in harm's way to assist in accomplishing the military's mission in Afghanistan and Iraq and this includes team members from the Nashville District. Please take a moment on this September 11 to remember those lost on September 11, 2001 and to remember all the service members and first responders lost during America's long war. I find the most fitting tribute today to our Nation's greatness and resiliency is the fact we have rebuilt those areas attacked, continue to secure our homeland, and resolutely defend our freedom and the freedom of others both here and abroad.