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September 11, 2012

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Obama Honors 9/11 Victims, First Responders, Troops

By Terri Moon Cronk

Source:  American  Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, DC – In his weekly address today, President Barack Obama paid tribute to the nearly 3,000 victims of the 9/11 attacks and honored the first responders and U.S. service members who have fought and sacrificed ever since to keep the United States safe.

As the anniversary approaches, Obama said, this is a time to remember the men, women and children lost in the attacks, the families they left behind, and a chance to honor the courage of the first responders who risked their lives and the American troops who ensure the nation’s security.

“On that clear September morning, as America watched the towers fall, the Pentagon burn, and the wreckage smoldering in a Pennsylvania field, we were filled with questions,” Obama said. “Where had the attacks come from, and how would America respond? Would they fundamentally weaken the country we love? Would they change who we are?”

The last decade has been a difficult one, the president said, but the nation and its people answered those questions and have come back stronger.

“We took the fight to al-Qaida, decimated their leadership, and put them on a path to defeat,” he said. “And thanks to the courage and skill of our intelligence personnel and armed forces, Osama bin Laden will never threaten America again.”

Instead of pulling back from the world, he noted, the United States strengthened its alliances while improving security at home.

“As Americans, we refuse to live in fear,” Obama said. “Today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline. And our country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world.”

Rather than changing who Americans are, the president said, the attacks brought out the best in the nation’s people.

“More than 5 million members of the 9/11 generation have worn America’s uniform over the past decade, and we’ve seen an outpouring of goodwill towards our military, veterans, and their families,” Obama said. “Together, they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them.”

Obama cited some of the milestones U.S. troops have achieved since the 9/11 attacks.

“We’ve ended the war in Iraq and brought our troops home. We brought an end to the Taliban regime. We’ve trained Afghan security forces, and forged a partnership with a new Afghan government,” he said. “And by the end [of] 2014, the transition in Afghanistan will be complete, and our war there will be over.”

Instead of turning inward with grief, Americans honored the memory of those lost by giving back to the nation’s communities by serving those in need, and reaffirming the values at the heart of who they are as a people, Obama said.

“That’s why we mark  Sept. 11 as a National Day of Service and Remembrance — because we are one American family,” he said. “And we look out for each other not just on the difficult days, but every day.”

The legacy of 9/11 is reflected in how the American people can say with confidence that no adversary and no act of terrorism can change who they are, Obama said.

“We are Americans, and we will protect and preserve this country we love,” he said. “On this solemn anniversary, let’s remember those we lost, let us reaffirm the values they stood for, and let us keep moving forward as one nation and one people.”

The President has signed a proclamation making Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9, 2012 National Days of Prayer and Remembrance

September 11th Commemoration 

Comments by Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, Pentagon Memorial, Arlington, VA, Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Source:  Department of Defense

Mr. President, Mrs. Obama, General Dempsey, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and in particular family members who lost a loved one here on 9/11.

Eleven years ago, on a morning very much like this, terrorists attacked the symbols of American strength: our economy and our commerce, our military might and our democracy and took the lives of citizens from more than 90 countries.  It was the worst terrorist attack on America in our history.

Today, people gather from across the United States and around the world to remember the tragic events of 9/11.  Some take part in ceremonies like this.  Others spend time alone in quiet reflection and prayer.  And all of us take a moment to remember again where we were at that fateful moment.

Here together as one family we pause to honor, and to pray, and to remember 184 lives lost at the Pentagon, more than 2,700 killed in Lower Manhattan, and the 40 who perished in that field in Pennsylvania on Flight 93.

These victims’ families remember those who were lost as mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.  To the family members here today, know that the entire nation joins you in mourning the loss of your loved ones.  We are honored by your presence.  And just as your loved ones are heroes forever, so are all of you.

Today we also recognize and remember other heroes, those first responders who rushed to the scene behind me, into the fire and chaos to save lives and helped in any way possible.  We owe you a very special debt, and we appreciate all you did to provide aid and comfort to those who needed it so badly.

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

Our thoughts also turn to the survivors.  On that bright, sunny Tuesday morning, you reported to work with no idea about the tragedy lay ahead.  Suddenly, this building was rocked by an explosion.  After the impact, many of you risked your lives to help others.  Many can remember the smell of the rubble and jet fuel.  And some of you knew the victims as office-mates and friends, and knew their families.

Like sixty years before, a nation at peace suddenly found itself at war.  For all of you and for every American, this memorial is a permanent place for prayer and remembrance.  And it is a fitting tribute to the lives of those so cruelly taken from us the passengers and crew of Flight 77, and military and civilian personnel working here at the Pentagon.  It is a fitting tribute to all who were lost.

Yesterday I had the opportunity to visit another memorial the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville.  I was reminded of those horrible moments after the hijacking, when the passengers and crew were able to make frantic to speak to their loved ones for the last time.  They knew what was at stake, and yet they decided to fight back.  Together, they took swift and decisive action to stop yet another attack targeted at the nation’s capital.

That spirit of selflessness, that spirit of determination, and courage is the enduring legacy of 9/11.  It inspires our nation.  It inspires our military to ensure such an attack never happens again.  It inspires us to never forget those who perished; to defend our homeland and our ideals; and to send a resounding message to our enemies:  that no one attacks the United States of America and gets away with it.

For today we also recall that out of the shock and sadness of 9/11 came a new sense of unity and resolve.  It inspired a fierce determination to fight back and protect our way of life.  In trying to attack our strengths, the terrorists unleashed our greatest strengths.  The spirit and the will for Americans to fight for our country.

Millions of Americans have responded.

A whole new and great generation stepped forward to serve in uniform, to fight in this war on terrorism.  They bled on distant battlefields.  They relentlessly pursued those who would do us harm.  They put their lives on the line to give all of us a safer and better future, and to bring those behind these attacks to justice.

Because of their sacrifices, because they were willing to fight and to die, and because of their dedication, our nation is stronger and safer today than on 9/11.

We never gave up the search for Bin Laden and we successfully brought him to justice.  We decimated the leadership of Al Qaeda — we have them on the run — and we have made it difficult for them to plan and conduct another 9/11 attack.  And while that group is still a threat, we’ve dealt it a very heavy blow.  And we will continue to fight them in Yemen, in Somalia, in North Africa.  Wherever they go.

To make sure that they have no place to hide.  Our troops denied safe haven to Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and they’re fighting so that Afghanistan can secure and govern itself.  Make no mistake:  we will continue to pursue and fight our enemies wherever they go, wherever they hide, wherever they try to find refuge we will never stop until we have made sure that America is safe.

On this day of solemn remembrance, let us renew a solemn pledge to those who died on 9/11 and to their families.  It is a pledge we also make to all of those who put their lives on the line, and who have paid a heavy price over the last 11 years of war.

Our pledge is to keep fighting for a safer and stronger future, our pledge is to ensure America always remains a government of, by, and for all people.  That pledge, that legacy, makes clear that no one who died on that terrible day died in vain.  They died for a stronger America.

This morning we are honored by the presence of our military and civilian leaders, and we are particularly honored by the presence of President and Mrs. Obama.  The president has led our efforts in this fight and I am honored to have served with him.  It’s now my great honor to introduce our Commander-in-Chief.  Ladies and Gentlemen, President Barack Obama.

The New York International Film Festival Returns to Los Angeles for A Week of Screenings, Premieres, Parties, Seminars and An Awards Ceremony

Source:  Chloe Feigen PR

Beverly Hills — The 5th Annual New York International Independent Film Festival in Los Angeles kicks off with an exciting lineup of films, premieres and special events, taking place September 12 to September 16, 2012. NYIIFVF opens with a red carpet networking party at the stylish Confidential Lounge in Beverly Hills, California on Wednesday, September 12, 2012, from 8pm-11pm.

Juliette Fairley, left, and Chanile Porter attend Clos du Bois Beauty Bar at the Empire Hotel Rooftop on September 9, 2012 in New York City. Photo Courtesy: Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images North America

Opening night will also include a special presentation for 2011 NYIIFVF award recipients. Festival screenings will take place exclusively at Raleigh Studios in Hollywood, California from September 13th – 16th, 2012.  As featured in the Pasadena Star News, the highly acclaimed short Juliette Fairley’s Mulatto’s Dilemma (JFMD) is among the featured films screening on Saturday September 15 at 9:30pm in the Mary Pickford room in the Chaplin Building of Raleigh Studios.

JFMD is about the difficult choice an adult bi-racial woman named Coquette must make between a white ex-boyfriend and her current African American fiancee whose kinky hair her French mother disapproves of.  More than 10 countries and territories will be represented at the festival, including Canada, Mexico, Italy, U.K., Australia and The Netherlands

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