10 Poignant Quotes About 9/11

nyc skyline after 9/11

It almost doesn't seem possible that it's been so many years since the attacks of September 11, 2001. But more than a decade passed, and over that time, there has been a lot of reflection about what occurred that day. So much has been said or written about the tragedies of 9/11 -- some of it political in nature, scientific, or downright patriotic.


Labels aside, writers, news anchors, politicians, and celebrities alike have commented on how that day changed our country forever, re-shaped us as Americans, and what we have learned from that day. Here, some of the most poignant, reflective quotes about September 11 from the past decade.

1. "Time is passing. Yet, for the United States of America, there will be no forgetting September the 11. We will remember every rescuer who died in honor. We will remember every family that lives in grief. We will remember the fire and ash, the last phone calls, the funerals of the children." -- President George W. Bush, November 11, 2001

2. "You can be sure that the American spirit will prevail over this tragedy." -- Colin Powell

3. "The moment to spend with a husband who loves me, or a sick friend, or a delicious new grandchild is here and now. Not some time later .... The nation learned this lesson all at once that horrible day in September 2001. The pictures stay with us -- the fires and falling debris, and, most hauntingly, the faces. Look how young so many of them were, people who thought there would be much more time, a lot of 'later' when they could do all the things they really wanted to do. I grieve for their families -- especially for those, like me, who haven't found any trace of the people they loved. But I grieve even more for the people who died that day. They couldn't know what we know now about the precious gift of time." -- Cokie Roberts, contributing senior news analyst for NPR News

4. "[New York] is a city largely based on great skyscrapers, and they will always be the essence of New York. That won't change, just as the character of the people who live here will not be altered by this tragedy." -- Donald Trump

5. "When I look out the window, I exhale a prayer of thanks for the color green, for my children's safety, for the simple acts of faith like planting a garden that helped see us through another spring, another summer. And I inhale some kind of promise to protect my kids' hopes and good intentions we began with in this country. Freedom of speech, the protection of diversity -- these are the most important ingredients of American civil life and my own survival. If I ever took them for granted, I don't know." -- Barbara Kingsolver, novelist 

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6. "The attacks of September 11 were intended to break our spirit. Instead we have emerged stronger and more unified. We feel renewed devotion to the principles of political, economic, and religious freedom, the rule of law and respect for human life. We are more determined than ever to live our lives in freedom." -- Rudolph Giuliani, former mayor of NYC

7. "As a country, I think we've become more focused on what is important and on the challenges we face. Focused on our national identity. And focused on the world beyond our borders -- after years of looking ever-inward, Americans are once again looking outward, in a way I haven't seen since the height of the Cold War. While no one would ever say that September 11 was in any way a good thing, these developments may ultimately prove to be healthy for a democratic nation such as ours, one that wields such great influence and power on the world stage but one that is, as we have learned in such a hard way, still vulnerable to those who hate us." -- Dan Rather, former news anchor for the CBS Evening News

8. "9/11 was a reminder that the bonds of family can be severed in an instant. They are essential, crucial, valuable, fragile." -- Peter Jennings, late news anchor of ABC's World News Tonight

9. "For me and my family personally, September 11 was a reminder that life is fleeting, impermanent, and uncertain. Therefore, we must make use of every moment and nurture it with affection, tenderness, beauty, creativity, and laughter." -- Deepak Chopra, MD

10. "Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11." -- President Barack Obama

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