ARLINGTON, VA - SEPTEMBER 11: Members of the Secret Service counter sniper team and other security take positions on the roof before a memorial service at the Pentagon September 11, 2011 in Arlington, Virginia. Vice President Joseph R. Biden, Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff Navy Admiral Mike Mullen and others will attend a memorial service at the Pentagon Memorial to commemorate the 10th anniversary the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images)
Ten years later, the terrorist attacks of September 11 remain a defining event in our political discourse and in our daily lives. Collected below are the thoughts of the region's local leadership as the anniversary of the attacks passes Sunday.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley:
“The story of September 11th – the courage, the remembrance, the renewal and what we choose to do with that – is also the story of America. Even amidst tragedy, there was a tremendous amount of beauty revealed that day 10 years ago – it was the beauty that is the dignity of every individual, the beauty of our own responsibility to be able to advance and protect the greater good, and the beauty that comes from understanding that we’re all in this together, that we need each other, and what we do in this lifetime does matter. On September 11th, 2001, we told one another that we would never, ever forget. And we won’t."
Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell:
On September 11, 2001, life in America changed, and the Commonwealth we love so deeply was forever marked by an unprecedented tragedy. Since that day, many Virginians and Americans from all over the country have made the ultimate sacrifice for the cause of freedom, and we have seen the dawning of the next greatest generation of patriots...More than 200 Virginians have died in combat since September 11. Additional Virginians serving on active duty and in the reserves of all branches of the military have fought bravely in this war. From the Pentagon to the Norfolk Navy base, Virginia continues to be the proud home of key military facilities, installations and commands that protect liberty and freedom.
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray
“The United States and the world experienced a great tragedy 10 years ago this weekend. The District of Columbia especially felt that tragedy, and we remember the lives and honor the memories of the District residents – including three young sixth-graders – we lost that day. We also honor our first responders, who rushed toward the danger at the Pentagon and elsewhere that day, bringing safety and order out of deadly chaos. We thank them for their devotion to their duty to protect and serve the public."
Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III:
"Today, we still suffer from the profound loss of our loved ones but our unity of purpose has kept us on course and made us a stronger county, state and country. We will continue to protect and pledge our allegiance to this great land. We will always remember the victims, and heroes that heeded the call. We will continue to move forward developing and implementing effective protective measures to safeguard our citizens from the tyranny of others.”