Twenty years ago, our nation was shaken by the worst terrorist attack in our history. Nearly 3,000 people were killed and thousands more injured. The world we once knew changed that day.
We will never forget what happened on 9/11. Nor will we forget our troops and their families and the sacrifice they have made these past two decades to defend our freedom. We honor their memory. We pray for their families. We are forever inspired by their courage. We are inspired by the courage of every hero who saved lives on behalf our nation.
From our first responders in uniform — whether soldier, firefighter, police office or flight attendant, to the volunteers, to the caregivers in the aftermath. Thousands answered our nation’s call to duty, including many of our sisters and brothers in the Department of Health and Human Services. Within hours of the attack, our Department dispatched the first group of emergency medical teams to the New York City area to assist local emergency personnel and health providers.
Nurses from our U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps were deployed immediately to Ground Zero, where they helped saved lives. We also provided funding to support health centers and hospitals, mental health programs and environmental monitoring, and research. And today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) runs a program dedicated to studying and treating those illnesses caused by the toxins first responders and others were exposed to on that tragic morning.
Whether we are responding to a national emergency or providing humanitarian support, our dedicated team at HHS stands ready to provide additional public health and medical support to help impacted communities.
I consider it an honor to serve as Secretary in advancing our mission to enhance the health and well-being of all people. And on this Day of Remembrance, I hope everyone will take a moment to remember the lives we lost, to reflect on their sacrifice, and to recommit ourselves to the values so many have fought and died to defend.