President Obama spoke movingly at the 9/11 Museum dedication Thursday, and I thought you might want to have a look in case you missed it.
Obama, who had clearly just been deeply affected by a tour of the museum and a visit with 9/11 families, spoke somberly and with great emotion. And with mercifully little of the self-reference that often characterizes his speeches on any occasion.
The remarks and their delivery are brilliant. Obama deftly intertwined the story of one man, the man with the red handkerchief, into a tribute to all affected by the tragedy and, ultimately, to America itself.
It’s one of the very best speeches I’ve ever heard him deliver. And I’ve heard a lot of them.
Here are some words to remember:
Here, at this memorial, this museum, we come together. We stand in the footprints of two mighty towers, graced by the rush of eternal waters. We look into the faces of nearly 3,000 innocent souls — men and women and children of every race, every creed, and every corner of the world. We can touch their names and hear their voices and glimpse the small items that speak to the beauty of their lives. A wedding ring. A dusty helmet. A shining badge.
Here we tell their story, so that generations yet unborn will never forget. Of coworkers who led others to safety. Passengers who stormed a cockpit. Our men and women in uniform who rushed into an inferno. Our first responders who charged up those stairs. A generation of servicemembers — our 9/11 Generation — who have served with honor in more than a decade of war. A nation that stands tall and united and unafraid — because no act of terror can match the strength or the character of our country. Like the great wall and bedrock that embrace us today, nothing can ever break us; nothing can change who we are as Americans.
Nothing can ever break us; nothing can change who we are as Americans.
Well said, Mr. President. Thank you.