ARCHIVED - 9/11 Memorial Service
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Speaking Notes for the Honourable Gordon O'Connor,
Minister of State and Chief Government Whip
September 11, 2011
Check against delivery
Honoured guests, ladies and gentlemen: thank you for joining us today here at Beechwood, the National Cemetery of Canada, for this somber day to remember the victims of 9/11 and to honour their families.
Nearly 3,000 victims died in the attacks. Among the 2,753 victims who died in the attacks on the World Trade Centre were employees in the buildings, passengers on the aircraft, firefighters, police, medical technicians and paramedics. Another 184 were killed in the attack on the Pentagon.
The overwhelming majority of casualties were civilians, including nationals from over 70 countries. That day, we lost 24 Canadians through a despicable act executed by members of Al-Qaeda.
The attacks on September 11 fundamentally affected our country. It impacted our travel on aircraft, complicated crossing borders, enhanced the inspection of sea cargoes, and dramatically increased anti-terrorist activities at home and abroad.
What struck me most about that day was that through the fear rose so many real heroes. Those heroes donned the uniforms of police, firefighters, paramedics, and more. When most people were running away, they ran toward the buildings, only thinking about saving the lives of the people inside those buildings and aboard those planes. No one could be certain what was happening and most were fearful of further attacks, but those brave men and women saved the lives of many people while risking their own.
On this day, 10 years after the fact, we take the time to remember those that lost their lives on September 11th, 2001 and give credit to the heroes who rushed to save so many more.
We will not forget.
To the families of the victims of September 11, we are with you not only today, but each day, and we share the pain and the suffering that you feel.
On behalf of the Government of Canada, and of all Canadians, I would like to pay homage to all of those who never returned home.
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