"We will always remember the thousands of lives lost, and the innocent men, women and children forever changed by those acts of evil," Bush said in a proclamation in today's Federal Register. "During these National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, we honor the heroism of the police officers, firefighters, rescue personnel, members of the military and private citizens who responded selflessly in the face of terror. We also honor the courage and spirit of the mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, and husbands and wives who continue to grieve for their irreplaceable loss."
Bush, in the proclamation, urged citizens to mark the next 3 days with "memorial services, the ringing of bells and evening candlelight remembrance vigils."
"I also invite the people of the world to share in these Days of Prayer and Remembrance," Bush said.
Calling 9/11 a "defining moment in our history," Bush asserts that from the rubble of the terrorist attacks "rose a nation united by our love for freedom."
"The scenes of distress and devastation we witnessed in the heart of New York City, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania were overcome by sacrifice, bravery and compassion," Bush said. "We resolved to answer history's call to bring justice to our enemies and to ensure the survival and success of liberty. … We are grateful for the service and sacrifice of the men and women of our armed forces who are advancing liberty and protecting our country, and we pray for their safety. We ask that God continue to comfort the families of those who have lost their lives or who have been injured while defending our freedom."
Bush: Sept. 11 is Patriot Day
On Dec. 18, 2001, Congress approved a joint resolution designating each Sept. 11 as Patriot Day. Bush this week called upon governors of the United States and Puerto Rico, officials from all units of government and citizens to fly flags at half-staff on Patriot Day. He also called for a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. EST to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11.