Washington- U.S. President Barack Obama marked the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks by honoring the nearly 3,000 victims lost in the tragedy and commending its first responders.
Obama celebrated the “resilience” of Americans 15 years later, saying that the “core values that define us as Americans” has not changed since the Sept. 11 attacks.
“Terrorists will never be able to defeat the United States,” Obama said. “Their only hope is to terrorize us into changing who we are or our way of life. That’s why we Americans will never give in to fear. And it’s why this weekend we remember the true spirit of 9/11.”
“Nearly 3,000 innocent lives were lost,” the president said. “Sons and daughters, husbands and wives, neighbors and colleagues and friends; they were from all walks of life, all races and religions, all colors and creeds, from across America and around the world.”
“We stand with the survivors who still bear the scars of that day,” he continued.
“We thank the first responders who risked everything to save others. And we salute a generation of Americans — our men and women in uniform, diplomats and our intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals — who serve, and have given their lives, to help keep us safe.”
In the face of new terror threats like ISIS, however, the president urged Americans against reacting “in ways that erode the fabric of our society.”
“We cannot give in to those who would divide us,” he said. “Because it’s our diversity, our welcoming of all talent, our treating of everybody fairly — no matter their race, gender, ethnicity, or faith — that’s part of what makes our country great. It’s what makes us resilient. And if we stay true to those values, we’ll uphold the legacy of those we’ve lost and keep our nation strong and free.”
He pledged that the U.S. will stay relentless against attacks from al-Qaeda and ISIS that are spreading their mayhem across the Middle East and the West.
“We will destroy them. And we’ll keep doing everything in our power to protect our homeland,” Obama said.
Obama will mark Sunday’s anniversary by observing a moment of silence in the privacy of the White House residence at 8:46 am EDT, when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, before delivering remarks at a Pentagon memorial service.