by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on the occasion of his visit to the National September 11th Memorial Museum
My tour of the National 9/11 Memorial today was a profoundly moving experience. I was able to pay my respects to the thousands of men and women who lost their lives as well as honour those who showed bravery in the face of danger on that fateful day. The events of 9/11 forever changed the world as we knew it, and altered the fundamental role of NATO.
NATO rose to the challenge of international terrorism. For the first time in our 62 year history, the Alliance invoked Article 5 of our founding charter, which states that “an attack against one is an attack against all.” We were indeed all attacked on that day and we have stood shoulder-to-shoulder from that moment on in the continued fight against the terrorists who would do us harm.
Today, I had the honour of accepting a piece of steel from one of the Twin Towers, to be displayed at NATO’s new headquarters in Brussels. We are indebted to the September 11th Memorial Museum, to U.S. Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy Richard Stengel, and to U.S. Permanent Representative to NATO Ambassador Douglas Lute, for their efforts to place this important piece of American history in our care. It will act as a daily reminder of our determination in the fight against terror.
Today, NATO remains steadfastly committed to the safety and security of its Allies. While threats to our collective security are myriad and evolving, NATO continues to adapt to confront new challenges. We will remain vigilant and determined as we continue to defend our values and work towards peace and prosperity for all. It is the most fitting way we can pay tribute to those we lost in New York and elsewhere. They will never be forgotten.