9/11 anniversary 2012: Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, other politicians issue statements

On the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, numerous politicians are issuing statements about the tragic events of that day in 2001. Here are several of them that have come into our newsroom.

"Instead of turning inward with grief, we’ve honored the memory of those we lost by giving back to our communities, serving those in need, and reaffirming the values at the heart of who we are as a people. That’s why we mark September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Because we are one American family. And we look out for each other – not just on the difficult days, but every day.

"Eleven years later, that’s the legacy of 9/11 – the ability to say with confidence that no adversary and no act of terrorism can change who we are. We are Americans, and we will protect and preserve this country we love. On this solemn anniversary, let’s remember those we lost, let us reaffirm the values they stood for, and let us keep moving forward as one nation and one people." -President Barack Obama, from his weekly address

"Eleven years ago, evil descended upon our country, taking thousands of lives in an unspeakable attack against innocents. America will never forget those who perished. America will never stop caring for the loved ones they left behind. And America shall remain ever vigilant against those who would do us harm.

"Today we again extend our most profound gratitude to our brave troops who have gone into battle, some never to return, so that we may live in peace. On this most somber day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world." -Mitt Romney, Republican presidential nominee

"Eleven years ago today, from Capitol Hill, I could see the smoke rising from the fires burning in the Pentagon. Like all Americans, I will never forget the moment that our homeland came under attack. For me, this is a day to remember those who perished on that day of terror, including the first responders.

It is also a day to pay tribute to all those who have worked quietly and tirelessly both on the home front and abroad to prevent a repetition of such terrible events. And it is a day to give honor to those in our military who have sacrificed so much, including their lives, for the same end. Their courage and heroism and willingness to answer the call of duty have kept America safe and strong and free. We are truly the home of the brave." -Paul Ryan, Republican vice presidential nominee

"Today, Anne and I join all Americans in expressing our sincere appreciation for the soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, guard members, first responders, and others and who work every day to keep us safe and secure at home and abroad.

"On this day eleven years ago our Commonwealth and our country were struck by an unimaginable act of terror. Even as we mourned, we resolved to honor the nearly 3,000 innocent lives lost by better protecting our nation and rededicating ourselves to a national spirit of service. Our response included military action that took many of our best and bravest far from their families for months and years at a time. All Americans owe these men and women, and their families, a debt of gratitude. In particular, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of more than 6,500 service members who lost their lives in conflicts abroad since that day, including more than 2,000 in Afghanistan. We also pray for the safe return of the thousands of men and women who are serving in Afghanistan, as we speak.

"The tragedy of September 11, 2001 also reawakened a spirit of national unity and service that is seen in the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance. Our nation has always been at its best when we come together to support one another, as in the dark days following those terrible attacks. Since then, our Commonwealth and country have seen days of sorrow and joy, but we have never lost the unique sense of American optimism that our best days are still ahead of us.

"This eleventh anniversary coincides with an uplifting piece of news which marks a turning point in our response to the attacks. For the first time in a decade, every unit of the Virginia National Guard is home. Overseas deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan, and other foreign theaters, as well as domestic responsibilities, took many of our guardsmen and women away from their families and friends. We know they may again be called to serve, but for now we celebrate their safe return and pray for the families of those who did not return home." -Tim Kaine, former Virginia governor, 2012 Virginia senate candidate

"Although more than a decade has passed, our nation continues to honor the memory of those we tragically lost 11 years ago on September 11, 2001. As we solemnly and vividly recall the events of that day, we remember the courage, faith, sacrifice and unity of neighbors and fellow Americans as we rose above this tragedy. When our resolve was tested and our strength tried, we persevered as a nation, healing together as we continue to serve as a beacon for Freedom, liberty and justice around the world.

"As we remember friends, neighbors and loved ones lost on that horrific day, we also thank our military, law officers, firefighters, first responders, the intelligence community and all security personnel who continue to protect our Freedoms. America is stronger and safer because of these patriots' great service to our country at home and abroad. May America continue to stand strong for Freedom." -George Allen, 2012 Virginia senate candidate

"The events of September 11, 2001 have profoundly affected-and continue to affect-all aspects of our society, and the lives of Virginians, Americans and people across the world were changed forever following the destruction of the World Trade Center complex in New York City, the attack against the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and the crash of Flight 93 in Stonycreek Township, Pennsylvania.

"Eleven years later the citizens of our Commonwealth and these United States continue to mourn for the more than three thousand innocent voices that were tragically silenced-including 184 in Virginia at the Pentagon-by terrorists on that infamous day of death and destruction.

"It is imperative that we never forget our shock and revulsion at the needless destruction, the bravery of our first responders who risked all for their neighbors, our anguish from the sudden loss of so many precious lives, or how we as a people did not succumb to a state of fear as the terrorists intended, but instead set aside our differences and united as patriots in our country's hour of need." -Portions of a proclamation from Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

"On September 11, 2001, we told one another that we would never forget. Today and every day, we remember the men, women, and children - 68 of them Marylanders - who lost their lives 11 years ago, as well as their loved ones who still grieve for them. We remember the courage of those who risked everything to save others that day. And we pay tribute to the brave men and women who provide for our nation's defense each and every day, because freedom isn't free.

"Each and every year on this day of remembrance, we should look to our neighbors and rediscover all that unites us and has made our nation a beacon of hope and human dignity to the world."-Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley