To the Soldiers, Airmen, and Families of the National Guard
There are nearly 3,000 names engraved in bronze at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City. They are firefighters and policemen, airline pilots and caterers, retirees and children, Soldiers and Sailors, and many others. Their names represent the lives cut short by an unprecedented act of terror in our homeland.
It has been twenty years since the attacks of September 11, 2001. It has been twenty years since sons, daughters, husbands, and wives called home for the last time to say—more than anything else— “I love you.”
As we remember, honor, and mourn those we lost, we must never forget the heroism and courage demonstrated that day. The first responders who selflessly rushed into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon. The ordinary men and women who came to the aid of others. The courageous passengers of United flight 93 who fought back against their hijackers.
In our collective shock and grief, we grew stronger. Countless Americans resolved to help in any way they could, from donating blood to joining our Armed Forces. We vowed to never forget, and we have kept that promise.
The names engraved in bronze live on with the survivors they left behind, and in us. They are an eternal part of our American story. Today, we rededicate ourselves to the memory of those who served and sacrificed for the promise of a stronger America, and our promise to remain Always Ready, Always There.
Daniel R. Hokanson
General, U.S. Army
Chief, National Guard Bureau
Tony L. Whitehead
SEA, U.S. Air Force
National Guard Bureau