WASHINGTON DC— Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke today at the Congressional Remembrance Ceremony honoring the anniversary of September 11. He joined Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, House Republican Leader John Boehner, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Members of Congress and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at 3 p.m. on the East Front Steps of the Capitol to pay tribute to the thousands of Americans whose lives were taken on September 11, 2001. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"Saint Paul wrote: 'We fix our eyes not on things that are seen, but on things unseen; for what is seen passes away, but what is unseen endures.' As long as we live, each September we will mark an anniversary of loss: of the day we saw monuments of our power and pride turn to dust; of the day so many we loved were taken from us in an instant; a day of fear and anger that is becoming, with time, a day of remembrance and resolve.
"Nothing can ever make that loss whole. But these were not lost: the ideals that raised those buildings up and shaped the lives of those who died there. In this nation of liberty—where each of us has the right to think and speak and pray as we choose—in this nation of law, in this fearless nation, what is unseen endures. In the heroism of firefighters and ordinary airline passengers, in the solidarity of a stricken nation that submerged its divisions, we saw the proof: no violence can shake the ideals that define us. We remember that today.
"But memory is not enough. When we call America a nation of equality, a land of opportunity, and a home for every faith, we also take on, willingly, the work of preserving those values and passing them down unharmed. They endure only because we choose that they endure: only because we defend them, live for them, argue for them in a struggle of ideologies, not just of arms; only because, in our conduct, on days of remembrance and ordinary days alike, we make those truths seen. That is how what is unseen endures. Every day of memory is also a day of work: the work of living up to the ideals that hallow our lives and hallowed the lives of the dead."