Resilience in Action

Remarks by Ambassador I. Daalder, US Permanent Representative to NATO at the exbibit on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of 11 September 2001

  • 12 Sep. 2011
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  • Last updated: 12 Sep. 2011 12:05

Breakfast reception organized by the US Mission to NATO - Opening remarks by Ambassador Ivo Daalder (US Permanent Representative to NATO)

A decade of time hasn’t removed the sting of what happened in America ten years ago on September 11.  Nor have we forgotten the other attacks -- against our Allies and other countries -- in the years that followed. 

Ten years on, America continues to be grateful for the solidarity that you, our Allies, showed us during one of the darkest moments of our history…a time when our commitment to defend one another was severely tested.  You rose to the challenge and came to our defense.  But you did much more than that.

You also gave us the comfort of your friendship, shown in ways large and small.  You stood firmly alongside us in our hour of need.  And you are still standing with us today, working to defend the shared values that bind all of us together.

Despite our loss, we have spent the last ten years in action, resolving ourselves to honor the fallen by rising up to the challenges of the future with dignity and resilience. 

We have continued to build on what has always made us strong:  our partners, our freedom, our spirit, and our community.

On 9/12, NATO first took action to demonstrate the resilience of partnerships, when it invoked Article 5 for the first time in its history, in defense of the United States.

For seven months, our Allies patrolled our airspace in Operation Eagle Assist, keeping watch over our cities in defense of our territory and security. 

Not long after, NATO acted again – this time to show the resilience of freedom – when it undertook the ISAF mission in Afghanistan, to bring freedom to an oppressed and exploited people. 

We’re all still there today, still working to build something better than what we found a decade ago. 

We can all be proud of the fact that our response to the attacks against our liberty and our way of life has not been solely about punishing the perpetrators, but more about liberating the people that they oppressed.

Nothing demonstrates the ideological difference between us and our opponents more clearly than this.

We did this because we have what our enemies on 9/11 could never understand: a resilience of spirit – which as President Obama put it, is “not the desire to destroy, but the impulse to save, and to serve, and to build.”

That impulse to build, along with our spirit, our freedom, and our partnership, is what inspired us to join the NATO Alliance in the first place. 

We know that our ultimate security lies in our resilience of community. 

NATO is more than a military alliance.  It is a community of free and democratic people that believes in the power of cooperation and of dialogue, of multinational effort and of global citizenship.

So let our response to grief and loss continue to be one of resilience in action – the resilience of partnerships, resilience of freedom, resilience of spirit, and resilience of community.

In doing so, we honor those we lost yesterday, by taking action to build a better tomorrow for us all. 

On behalf of the President of the United States, and of all of our citizens, I offer you our sincere and enduring gratitude for your courage, your friendship, and your resilience these last ten years.  May we continue in this same spirit as we go forward.

Thank you all for being here today.