House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), congressional leaders, and the Capitol Hill community will take part in a Congressional Remembrance Ceremony this morning to mark the eleventh observance of September 11, 2001. Speaker Boehner will deliver the following remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“Today we listen, to the names of the perished, to prayers for their loved ones. Today we listen to each other and our stories.
“Cardinal Edward Egan, who was Archbishop of New York on September 11th, talks about going over to St. Vincent’s Hospital that morning. As he helped receive the injured, Egan found himself standing with two doctors, one of whom was visibly shaken. Turns out a family member of his was in the towers. On a high floor. Cardinal Egan asked the young man if he’d like to go somewhere and talk. He declined. ‘No, Your Eminence,’ he said, ‘I am a doctor, and this is my place.’
“Everyone in those hours, no matter their station – everyone stood their ground. Everyone kept their place. The professionals who did their duty, who ran in so others could run out. The patriots who banded together in the sky over Shanksville to save this Capitol and these steps. The volunteers who raised their hands, said ‘I’ll go,’ and now fight overseas in perilous conditions. The Good Samaritans lining up to give blood and ask ‘what can I do?’ The faithful on their knees in prayer seeking God’s strength and guidance. Everyone kept their place.
“To summon such courage in the midst of such loss … to be confronted with evil, and not give a thought to retreat … that is the heart and core of the American people. That is the bond which lies beneath our daily lives.
“Every generation has endured hard sacrifice to preserve the blessings of freedom. If we ever falter, it will be because we forget what we learned in hardship.
“Today we listen, and vow to never forget. To celebrate the greater good that comes from serving one another and standing shoulder-to-shoulder. And to carry on, come what may, to meet the unmet challenges and complete the unfinished work.
“For we are Americans, and this is our place.”