by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the 9/11 commemoration ceremony

  • 11 Sep. 2019 -
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  • Last updated: 11 Sep. 2019 14:55

(As delivered)

Thank you, Ambassador.

Dear friends,

We stand here at the entrance of the NATO headquarters, by this twisted piece of the Twin Towers.

As we walk past it every day, we remember the deadly impact of terrorism. We remember the suffering,

the sorrow, and the staggering loss on that terrible morning in September 2001.

We remember all those who were going about their business on an ordinary day when the unthinkable happened.

And we pay tribute to the 2,977 people who lost their lives on 9/11. 

This memorial symbolises that while 9/11 was an attack against the United States, it was also an attack against all NATO Allies.

For the first and only time in NATO’s history, we invoked our collective defence clause – Article 5.

One for all, and all for one.

Since that day, we have fought terrorism together.

Soon after 9/11, Allies deployed to Afghanistan.  Hundreds of thousands of troops, from Europe, Canada and beyond, have served shoulder-to-shoulder with US troops.

Many have paid the ultimate price. And many more have been seriously wounded.  We remember them.  And we must make sure that their sacrifice was not in vain.

The fight against terrorism is a global, generational fight.  We remain committed to Afghanistan.  NATO Allies and partners will continue to train and advise Afghan security forces.  To make them stronger, so that they can fight international terrorism and create security and stability in their own country. 

Our military presence is there to create the conditions for peace.  But the road to peace is long and hard.

NATO also fights terrorism beyond Afghanistan.  In Iraq, we train the armed forces to ensure that they can prevent Da’esh from coming back.  And we work with partners across the Middle East and North Africa.

Europe and North America must continue to stand together now as we stood together on 9/11.  United in our commitment to protect our people and our values.

On 9/11, terrorists destroyed the Twin Towers.  But they will never destroy our way of life.  Our free and open societies.

And the unbreakable bond between Europe and North America.

Our Alliance keeps us strong.   And it keeps us safe.