Message From NASA Administrator Charles Bolden
NASA joins the nation and the world in marking the tenth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on our country. On this solemn occasion, we pause to remember the lives of those we lost that tragic day, and to offer comfort to the families they left behind.
A NASA astronaut aboard the International Space Station was able to photograph the devastation of that terrible day, which could be seen even as far away as the vantage point of low Earth orbit. The photos of Frank Culbertson, the only American off-planet at the time, are an historic reminder that this small dot in the universe still has big challenges to overcome.
America's first responders and many ordinary people became heroes on 9/11 and our government has continued since to take the steps that have kept our nation safe. More than two million of our troops have served in war zones. These brave volunteers are protecting our nation beyond its borders and preventing threats before they can reach our shores. They have upheld the virtues of service, sacrifice, and selflessness that have always been the source of America’s strength. As the beneficiaries of their service, we have a sacred duty to support all of our troops, military families and veterans.
Frank Culbertson returned to a different world than that from which he launched. But all of the space station's international crews have demonstrated how space exploration can bring our world together, erase borders and improve the lives of people across the world.
We will never forget 9/11, but we are nevertheless optimistic about the future. It is a bright future for the kind of cooperative exploration that will inspire humanity and lift our thoughts to the higher potential of which we are capable.
NASA is uniquely positioned to continue building bridges in a global enterprise that helps us uncover the secrets of our planet and the universe and brings scientists, engineers and explorers from all walks of life together no matter their race, religion, national origin or background. This is the legacy not only of the ISS, it is a path that we are pursuing for the future.
I hope you will participate in the National Day of Service and Remembrance that will be observed on 9/11. Our nation's unity and the many ways we help each other through adversity are among our greatest assets.
We are resilient. Our nation draws strength from diversity, and we can do whatever we set our mind to not just because of our military power, but because of the power of our ideas, because of who we are: one nation, dedicated to building a more perfect union.
The families of the victims and the continued healing of our nation are foremost in our thoughts and prayers today. Let us join in remembrance and raise our sights to tomorrow's promise.