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(Washington D.C.) –Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) delivered the following remarks on the floor of the Senate commemorating the anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

“Mr. President, like all Americans, I will never forget where I was on September 11th 2001. And I will never forget the way our country responded.  In the face of great tragedy, Americans came together with courage and unity. 

“Eight years later, we continue to face great challenges.

“As a government – and as a nation – we are working to improve our safety and tackle the many difficulties facing our nation today.  The safety of all Americans remains priority number one for everyone in government.  We still have troops working hard to protect and defend our nation.  At the same time, we continue to recognize that our diversity is also America’s greatest strength.  Despite our many differences, in times of need we are always one nation, united.

“This year, for the first time, 9/11 has been designated a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  It’s with a heavy heart that I stand on the floor of the Senate today marking this day while a cloak and white roses mark the desk of our departed colleague, Senator Ted Kennedy.  Ted worked to designate this day as one of service, and in April the President signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act making that goal a reality.  Ted would be proud today of each and every American who took up that call. 

“The mission of this new designation is:
‘to honor the victims of 9/11 and those who rose to service in response to the attacks by encouraging all Americans and others throughout the world to pledge to voluntarily perform at least one good deed, or another service activity on 9/11 each year. In this way we hope to create a lasting and forward-looking legacy -- annually rekindling the spirit of service, tolerance, and compassion that unified America and the world in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.’

“I cannot think of a better way to honor the memory of those who were lost than by taking a moment today to remember, and then performing a good deed or act of service. 

“September 11th isn’t just a day of national loss, but of personal loss. My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who has lost a friend or loved one. Your loss is our loss, and you are forever in our hearts.”