Good evening Your Eminences, Your Excellencies, Ambassadors to the Holy See, friends, and guests.
It is an honor to participate in this prayer service tonight. As you know, today is the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania. 9/11 is a day that shook our country to its core, and it’s a memory that lives on in every citizen of the United States of America. Unfortunately, recent violent extremist acts against innocents remind us that the dangers and tragedies of events such as 9/11continue to challenge us.
No matter how many years pass, we will never forget the over 3,000 innocent people whose lives were cut short on that dark day: parents, children, siblings, spouses, and friends of every race and creed. This was not just an American loss – more than 90 countries lost citizens in the attacks on the World Trade Center.
President Obama proclaimed September 5-7 as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance to honor and remember the victims of the 9/11 tragedy. In his proclamation, he said, “Each year as our Nation mourns, our faith restores us and summons within us the sense of common purpose we rediscovered after the attacks. Prayer and humble reflection carry us forward on the path we travel together, helping mend deep wounds still sore from loss… May our faith reveal that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn.”
I would like to thank the Community of Sant’Egidio for hosting this lovely prayer service, and for the many things you do to promote peace and fraternity in the world today. And thank you all for your thoughts and prayers this evening.