For all Americans – and especially New Yorkers – September 11th is a day of somber reflection. We remember with sorrow the thousands of lives taken by an act of staggering evil. We recommit ourselves to sustaining the families who carry the heaviest burden of grief. And we reaffirm our gratitude to the First Responders and members of the Armed Forces, who risk their own safety through service to others.

Twelve years later, our nation still faces great challenges at home and abroad, yet it must be our duty to uphold America’s purpose with courage and confidence. Our liberties, our belief in the equality of humankind, and our faith in the possibility of peace among peoples are beyond the reach of any external enemy. These values rise and fall on the strength of our own convictions. May we uphold in our own communities the virtues that define America at its best and that remain an inspiration to the world.

— NB