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October 5, 2008    DOL Home > Newsroom > Speeches & Remarks   

Speeches by Deputy Secretary of Labor Howard Radzely

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Remarks Prepared for Delivery by
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor Howard Radzely
DOL 9/11 Remembrance Program
September 11, 2008

Good morning. Thank you for being here this morning.

Seven years ago, on a sunny Tuesday morning, our nation endured a terrorist attack that took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent Americans. This morning we gather, as we have every year on this day, to remember and honor the innocent and those who gave, what Abraham Lincoln called, the last full measure of devotion to their fellow citizens.

Some of us had only been at the Department a short time that Tuesday morning. Yet the memories and lessons of that day have left an indelible mark on our experiences here, and will last a lifetime.

No one will ever forget where they were that morning. We will never forget the images on television, the photographs in our daily newspapers, or the plume of smoke we could see rising from the Pentagon from here. And as our country came together in an outpouring of compassion for those affected in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, we together stood by the members of our DOL family who felt the devastating affects of that day at home. We will never forget the concern and fear we felt for our colleagues who served in the DOL regional offices in the World Trade Center and at Verick Street nearby and their families. And we shall never forget the members of our DOL family who lost loved ones on that day. Yet, even as we grieved for our friends, our colleagues and their loved ones, we knew our responsibilities to our fellow citizens would guide us forward.

United in our duty and in our desire to aid our fellow Americans, staff from all areas of the Department sprang into action. OSHA, MSHA and the Inspector General's office rushed immediately to New York to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts with their equipment, expertise and personnel. ETA, EBSA and ESA aided those devastated by the attacks as they began the long, hard process of recovery. And OASAM and OIG moved quickly to increase our security here and at our offices nationwide.

Many have called that day America's darkest hour, but it also showed our country at its most compassionate and heroic.

Each year we meet here to remember that day, those who were lost, and those who risked everything to save others. We will carry the memories of those who perished with us every day. They will always inspire us and we will never forget them.

I am proud to have served America at this time in our history. And I am honored to serve with you and to share this remembrance with you.

Now, please join me — and our entire nation — in a moment of silent reflection at 8:46 am.

May God bless and keep the innocent victims, heroic rescuers and brave survivors of September 11th, 2001, and all those who now defend our freedom at home and abroad. May their sacrifices remain in our hearts forever and inspire us to work for the day when all people will enjoy the blessings of freedom. May God bless the United States.

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