WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- Wednesday, several national, state and local officials released statements on the 12th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
Here are some of those statements:
President Barack Obama at the September 11th observance at the Pentagon Memorial:
"From Scripture, we learn of the miracle of restoration. 'You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again. From the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.'
"Secretary Hagel, General Dempsey, members of our Armed Forces and most of all, the survivors who bear the wounds of that day and the families of those we lost, it is an honor to be with you here again to remember the tragedy of twelve Septembers ago -- to honor the greatness of all who responded and to stand with those who still grieve and to provide them some measure of comfort once more. Together we pause and we pray and we give humble thanks -- as families and as a nation -- for the strength and the grace that from the depths of our despair has brought us up again, has revived us again, has given us strength to keep on.
"We pray for the memory of all those taken from us -- nearly 3,000 innocent souls. Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away, the lives that might have been -- the parents who would have known the joy of being grandparents, the fathers and mothers who would have known the pride of a child's graduation, the sons and daughters who would have grown, maybe married and been blessed with children of their own. Those beautiful boys and girls just beginning to find their way who today would have been teenagers and young men and women looking ahead, imagining the mark they'd make on the world.
"They left this Earth. They slipped from our grasp. But it was written, 'What the heart has once owned and had, it shall never lose.' What your families lost in the temporal, in the here and now, is now eternal. The pride that you carry in your hearts, the love that will never die, your loved ones' everlasting place in America's heart.
"We pray for you, their families, who have known the awful depths of loss. And in the quiet moments we have spent together and from the stories that you've shared, I'm amazed at the will that you've summoned in your lives to lift yourselves up and to carry on, and to live and love and laugh again.
"Even more than memorials of stone and water, your lives are the greatest tribute to those that we lost. For their legacy shines on in you -- when you smile just like him, when you toss your hair just like her, when you foster scholarships and service projects that bear the name of those we lost and make a better world. When you join the firehouse or you put on the uniform or you devote yourself to a cause greater than yourself, just like they did, that's a testimony to them. And in your resilience you have taught us all there is no trouble we cannot endure and there is no calamity we cannot overcome.
"We pray for all those who have stepped forward in those years of war -- diplomats who serve in dangerous posts, as we saw this day last year in Benghazi, intelligence professionals, often unseen and unheralded who protect us in every way -- our men and women in uniform who defend this country that we love.
"Today we remember not only those who died that September day. We pay solemn tribute to more than 6,700 patriots who have given their full measure since -- military and civilians. We see their legacy in the friendships they forged, the attacks they prevented, the innocent lives they saved and in their comrades in Afghanistan who are completing the mission and who by the end of next year will have helped to end this war.
"This is the path that we've traveled together. These are the wounds that continue to heal. And this is the faith in God and each other that carries us through, that restores us and that we summon once more each time we come to hallowed ground -- beside this building or in a Pennsylvania field or where the towers once stood. Here, in such moments of grace, we are renewed. And it is here that we reaffirm the values and virtues that must guide us.
"Let us have the strength to face the threats that endure, different though they may be from 12 years ago, so that as long as there are those who would strike our citizens, we will stand vigilant and defend our nation.
"Let us have the wisdom to know that while force is at times necessary, force alone cannot build the world we seek. So we recommit to the partnerships and progress that builds mutual respect and deepens trust and allows more people to live in dignity, prosperity and freedom.
"Let us have the confidence in the values that make us American, which we must never lose, the shining liberties that make us a beacon of the world; the rich diversity that makes us stronger, the unity and commitment to one another that we sustain on this National Day of Service and Remembrance.
"And above all, let us have the courage like the survivors and families here today to carry on, no matter how dark the night or how difficult the day. 'You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again. And from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again. You will increase my greatness and you will comfort me again.'
"May God bless the memory of those that we lost. May he comfort you and your families and may God bless these United States of America."
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine said: "It's been twelve years since thousands of lives were lost in New York, Pennsylvania, and Northern Virginia. As we continue to mourn those we lost, we honor their memories and keep their friends and families in our prayers. Today we give thanks for the heroic efforts of first responders who put their lives on the line that day to save others, and our servicemembers who continue to sacrifice in defense of our nation. While I will never forget the terror of that day, I will always remember how people all over the Commonwealth and the nation supported one another and united behind the belief that our best days are still ahead."
Congressman Eric Cantor said: "Twelve years ago today, al Qaeda terrorists claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans in New York, Pennsylvania, and my home state of Virginia.
"As we honor the lives lost on September 11, 2001, we are also mindful of the continued terrorist threat we face every day. Recent events in Syria and across the Middle East are a powerful reminder of the global threat that radical extremists and terrorists pose to the United States and our closest allies.
"We will never forget the victims, their families, and the brave first responders who put their lives at risk to save their fellow Americans. We must come together and rededicate ourselves to being ever vigilant in combating terrorism in all its forms and preventing future attacks."
Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe said:
"Today we remember the men and women who lost their lives twelve years ago to a devastating attack against our nation. Let us honor our firefighters, police, and first responders who ran towards danger to help those in need and the members of our armed forces who risk their lives every day to protect us at home and abroad. Here in Virginia and across America we stand together in remembrance and share the common goal of making our communities safer and stronger."
Attorney General and Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli said:
"Today we mourn the loss and honor the lives of our fellow Americans taken from us twelve years ago today. At the Pentagon as well as in New York, Pennsylvania and across the country, families and loved ones of those lost continue to grieve over senseless acts of Islamic terrorism that shook our nation.
"At the same time, we celebrate the courage of our firefighters, police officers and individual citizens whose heroism in the face of unbelievable adversity that tragic day united us all. It is that spirit of purpose and service, demonstrated in our darkest hour, which reveals the compassion we have for one another.
"On this most somber of anniversaries, we also express our deepest gratitude to the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to defend our freedoms. We continue to pray for the safe return of those serving overseas, and we express our sympathy and thanks to the families of our brave servicemen and servicewomen who gave the last full measure of devotion in defense of liberty.
"There are still evil extremists who continue to wish us harm, as we were reminded last year on this day when U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three courageous Americans were murdered in Benghazi, Libya while serving abroad. We must remain vigilant and determined so that peace and prosperity for Americans at home and abroad is secured for Virginians now and in the future.
"For those we lost, and those they left behind, we will never forget."
Congressman Rob Wittman released the following statement:
"Walking by the U.S. Capitol building this morning, my thoughts immediately turned to the attack on freedom twelve years ago on that fateful day. The dome of the building stands tall not only as a symbol of freedom, but also a reminder of those who have worked to protect her and our citizens from attack. Freedom again came under attack one year ago today in Benghazi, Libya. The ideals of American life unfortunately face challenges every day, and yet brave men and women continue to selflessly serve our nation as first responders and in our armed services. We will never forget those lost on this tragic day and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to uphold the banner of our nation since then. We keep in our hearts the families of the victims and those who have served and continue to serve. May God continue to bless America."
Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen said:
"As we mark today's anniversary of the worst attack against us in the history of our country, we remember the 3,000 men, women, and children who lost their lives to a senseless act of terror. We also honor the countless acts of heroism we saw that day - in the aftermath of those heinous attacks, our nation demonstrated the very best of the American spirit. Finally, we recommit ourselves to the sense of unity that makes America great. Much has changed since the 9/11 attacks, but our values remain the same."
Congressman John K. Delaney said: "Today is a day of remembrance, reflection, and resolve. As a country, we mourn the innocent men, women, and children who were taken from us in the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history. The horror of that morning cannot and should not be forgotten.
"This is also a day to thank our men and women in uniform. We thank the first responders - the police officers, firefighters, medical workers - who saved so many lives. Their sacrifice represents the best of our country. We thank our service members and veterans for their work to protect us, including all those who volunteered to serve after 9/11.
"Twelve years later, our message to the world is clear: our nation will not be defeated."
Congressman Steny H. Hoyer said:
"Though twelve years have now passed since that tragic day on which we were attacked, the pain and heartbreak of September 11, 2001, will never be forgotten. For the loved ones of victims and for those who survived, this anniversary marks a solemn moment to remember the lives lost and lives changed forever. For our nation, it is an opportunity to mourn those no longer with us and to recall the heroism of our first responders who rushed headlong into burning buildings with little regard for the danger to their own safety. To the military personnel who have served in harm's way since that day, in pursuit of those who attacked us and their accomplices, we extend our heartfelt gratitude and rededicate ourselves to the mission of honoring their sacrifices while meeting our commitment to this nation's veterans.
"Today, as our troops continue to come home from Afghanistan and serve in defense of our security and interests across the world, America's strength has grown as a result of the work by our courageous service members and of our holding fast to this nation's founding principles of democracy, equal justice, and freedom of expression. No one - and no act of terror - will ever shake our commitment to these enduring values. My thoughts and prayers today are with Fifth District families of those who were lost as well as with all the military personnel and first responders, including those from Maryland, who continue to stand in defense of our freedom at home and around the world."
Maryland Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown said: "Today as we honor the nearly 3,000 innocent victims who lost their lives 12 years ago, let us focus on remembering the acts of tremendous heroism that we witnessed from our first responders, flight attendants, passengers and everyday Americans who were just starting their work day on an ordinary Tuesday morning. Let us also honor the thousands of brave Americans who stood up and accepted the charge to defend our freedom on battlefields in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's these acts of courage, compassion and sacrifice that truly defined September 11th and these are the same values that will always unite us as one American people."
Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett said: "Twelve years ago today, a terrorist attack on our nation forever changed how Americans view the world. I will never forget the horror and disbelief of that day as the tragic events unfolded that resulted in so many lost lives.
September 11 is not an anniversary that we want to remember - but it is an anniversary that we must remember. We can never forget those who were lost or their families. We can never forget the circumstances that led to that fateful day. And, we can never forget the lessons we learned about the enduring need for vigilance.
I hope everyone will join me in keeping the victims and their families in our thoughts and prayers as we offer them our love and support. We will continue to honor them and the difference they made to our country, keeping them forever in our hearts and in our memories."
Takoma Park Police Public Information Officer Catherine Plevy said: "It's hard to believe that 12 years have gone by since the day that our country was changed forever. The repercussions from the 9/11 attacks still echo in the lives of those affected by tragedy. Charities and organizations from around the country have been giving back since 9/11/01 and continue to help those in need.
"Twelve years after the unspeakable tragedy and loss on 9/11/01, Americans still remember every detail and still feel the shock and the pain of the most violent attack imaginable. So many lives were lost. So many families and friends said goodbye that morning; not knowing that they would never see their loved one again. Every American's life changed on that unforgettable day.
"Take a moment to remember your experience. The horror of that day affected all of us and so many of us realized the value of our family, our country, our lives, and the moment. We felt how fragile and unpredictable life can be on a gut level on that day.
"Take another moment to remember those we lost and the people they left behind. Pray for the families and friends whose lives were ripped apart that day. Send silent blessings, wish them well, plant a flower, or whatever you choose. Just give them a moment.
The security of the City of Takoma Park depends greatly on citizen involvement. No police department can effectively protect life and property without the support and cooperation of the citizens it serves.
The Takoma Park Police Department needs your help in countering terrorism. Much like our Neighborhood Watch Program, we ask you to be our eyes and ears. Your reporting of suspicious activity can help thwart a terrorist's criminal intentions.
Terrorists are trained to "blend in" and assimilate to their surroundings. Most terrorist's acts are well organized and well planned. Terrorists will conduct training, surveillance, and "dry runs" prior to the commission of a terrorist act. They like to strike at government and civilian targets in an effort to instill fear.
Ironically, though it is the terrorist's intent to instill fear in you, it is you and your vigilance that the terrorist fears most! So, how can you assist?
We need you to:
-Remain alert and be aware of everyday activities in your neighborhood and the city.
-Encourage the involvement of family, friends and neighbors.
-Assume responsibility to observe and report activities that appear out of place or unusual.
If you become aware of suspicious activity DO NOT:
-Take direct action.
-Confront the individual.
-Reveal your suspicions.
If you become aware of suspicious activity DO:
- Record as many details as possible.
- Notify the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.
Describing possible events:
- Who did I observe?
- What specifically did I see?
- Where did I observe the suspicious behavior?
- When did I observe the suspicious behavior?
- Why do I think the behavior is suspicious?
Ways to improve observation skills:
Employ good listening skills.
- Do not let personal feelings interfere with the incident.
- Look at the entire situation before making a judgment.
- Watch for non-verbal communication signs.
- Use feedback to obtain and verify information or observations.
- Observe and report by dialing 9 - 1 - 1.
- Do not become personally involved. "