Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Chargé d’Affaires Arnold Chacon
Remarks at the 20th Anniversary Ceremony Honoring the Victims of 9/11
as prepared for delivery
Today marks the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, which killed 2,977 people from over 90 countries, including 26 Canadians. Today we remember those we lost that morning, and we honor the courage of their families and friends—some of whom we are privileged to have with us this morning.
Twenty years is not enough to heal the wounds from their loss, or to erase the pain they feel of missing fathers and mothers, daughters and sons, brothers and sisters. We shall never forget them.
This morning, I also want to recognize all those members of the Canadian Armed Forces who served in Afghanistan, including the 26 men and women who rest in these hallowed grounds. We honor their service and their sacrifice for Canada, and for a better world.
But at the same time we remember loss and sacrifice, we should also recall the light that came from the darkness of September 11.
We remember the first responders who ran into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to save others. We remember the courageous passengers aboard United Airlines Flight 93, who forced the plane to crash into a field in Pennsylvania instead of striking the U.S. Capitol. We remember the people of Gander and Halifax and dozens of communities across Canada who opened their homes and their hearts to stranded travelers. We remember the citizens of Ottawa who covered Sussex Drive with cards and flowers in front of our Embassy. Twenty years later, we remember the kindness and compassion we saw on that day from people around the world—especially from our friends in Canada.
Earlier this year, President Biden said the United States has no closer friend than Canada. That was true on this day twenty years ago, and it remains true today. Our two countries are not just neighbors, partners, or allies, but we are—most importantly—the closest of friends. And so on behalf of your friends, the people of the United States—thank you.
We will never forget those we lost on September 11. But the United States will always remember those who stepped forward, those who opened their hearts, and those who stood with us on that awful day. We will always remember Canada.
Thank you all very much.