Floridians Mark 9/11
Around the State
While Pastor Terry Jones of the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville has dominated the headlines with his Quran-burning to mark the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Florida’s politicians are also remembering the tragic event in spirit-lifting, more solemn and less controversial ways.
Mayor David Levy will be dedicating the 9/11 Memorial Plaza in Palm Beach Gardens Saturday and U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate race, will be attending.
Meek won’t be the only U.S. Senate candidate at 9/11 memorial events. Former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the Republican nominee, will be at a prayer breakfast in Orlando before heading across town to a Homes for Heroes Foundation event. He will also speak at the America United Rally and 9/11 tribute in Sarasota Saturday.
Political leaders at the state and national levels paid tribute to the grim tragedy Friday.
President Barack Obama issued an early statement of remembrance, lacing it with optimism: “Tomorrow we will commemorate not only the heartbreak of Sept. 11, but also the enduring values and resilient spirit of America. Both Michelle and I will be joining our fellow citizens in remembering those who were lost on that day and honoring all who exhibited such extraordinary heroism in the midst of tragedy.
"I’ll have further remarks tomorrow, but for now let me just note that tomorrow is a National Day of Service and Remembrance and I hope each of us finds a way to serve our fellow citizens -- not only to reaffirm our deepest values as Americans, but to rekindle that spirit of unity and common purpose that we felt in the days that followed that September morning.”
Said Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, "Tomorrow marks the nine-year anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks on American soil. As we remember and pay tribute to the lives lost on that tragic day, let us also honor those who work tirelessly to prevent future attacks against this great nation. Let us thank the men and women in our military who are serving and have served our nation in the ongoing war on terror in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
“As a nation, we have not forgotten the tragic loss of innocent life on that morning,” he continued. “Thousands of lives were forever changed by the devastating actions of al-Qaida operatives. We also haven’t forgotten the selfless acts of bravery displayed by first responders and the men and women aboard United Airlines Flight 93.”
McCollum concluded, “Sept. 11, 2001, changed America. Over the past nine years, America has shown the world that she is resilient and will not cower to the fear tactics of terrorist organizations. Almost a decade later, our nation still stands strong as the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
Reach Kevin Derby at email@example.com, or at (850) 727-0859.