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Bush proclaims September 11 'Patriot Day'

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush on Wednesday declared the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks as Patriot Day, saying the nation should remember and honor people of all stripes who became heroes on that day.

"We will not forget the events of that terrible morning nor will we forget how Americans responded in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in the skies over Pennsylvania -- with heroism and selflessness; with compassion and courage; and with prayer and hope," Bush wrote in the proclamation.

"Inspired by the heroic sacrifices of our firefighters, rescue and law enforcement personnel, military service members, and other citizens, our nation found unity, focus, and strength."

Bush asked that people in the United States mark the day with ceremonies, remembrance services and candlelight vigils. He encouraged people to fly the flag at half-staff that day, and observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m. ET, the time the first hijacked plane struck the World Trade Center, to honor the victims.

"We found healing in the national outpouring of compassion for those lost, as tens of millions of Americans participated in moments of silence, candlelight vigils, and religious services," the president said. "From the tragedy of September 11 emerged a stronger nation, renewed by a spirit of national pride and a true love of country."

The president praised the first responders who "gave their all" to save others, members of the armed forces who are pursuing the war on terrorism, and all those who "answered the call" and have volunteered.

Congress approved a joint resolution December 18 authorizing the president to designate September 11 of each year as Patriot Day.




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