WASHINGTON -- Heritage President Kay Coles James released the following statement on Wednesday, September 11:
"Today, we honor the memories of those we lost in New York, Shanksville, and at the Pentagon. Today, we remember the courage of America’s first responders, armed forces, intelligence agencies, and average Americans and their acts of heroism. September 11, 2001, is a day that will never be forgotten.
As the director of the U.S. civil service at the time, I had the privilege of witnessing America’s federal workforce commit a million acts of quiet defiance against the terrorists when they bravely returned to work the day after the attack. Across the country, America’s civil servants realized that one of the most important things they could do was help keep America running, which is exactly what al-Qaeda had wanted to stop. They came to work despite not knowing if they would be the next targets – if the bridges they were crossing would be attacked, if their offices would be bombed, or if the monuments and symbols of American democracy they worked in and around would be the next to fall.
I witnessed the depth of pride America’s federal workers had for their country and their willingness to provide some sense of stability for their fellow Americans in the face of adversity and tremendous unknowns. That is something I have never forgotten about September 11, 2001. I witnessed the best in people on one of America’s worst days."