The 13th Anniversary of 9/11

September 11, 2014

Letter by 9/11 Memorial President Joe Daniels on the 13th Anniversary of 9/11

Dear Friends, 

On this day in 2001, the city, the country, and the world united in the face of unimaginable tragedy. Today, on the 13th anniversary of 9/11, we gather together once again to honor and remember the 2,983 men, women, and children who were killed in the attacks of 2001 and 1993.

On September 11, 2001, Robert David Peraza was an employee of Cantor Fitzgerald, whose offices were located on the 101st to 105th floors of the North Tower at the World Trade Center. Rob, only 30 years old, died after being trapped above the point of impact where Flight 11 struck the building.

On the 10th anniversary of the attacks in 2011, Rob's father, Robert Peraza, was one of the first family members to walk onto the 9/11 Memorial. Heading toward the north pool, approaching the waterfalls, Robert encountered his son's name. As he saw "Robert David Peraza" etched in bronze for the first time, he fell to his knees in the emotion of the moment. Encounters like this one occurred by the thousands throughout that day, and continue almost every day at the Memorial, at this sacred site.

Yes, 9/11 was an event with massive national and global implications, but let us not forget, as we hold the annual commemoration ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial this morning, how intensely personal this day is for Robert's family and for all the families of those who were killed. We are gathering on the Memorial this morning with many of these families to lead the nation in remembrance. The ceremony will begin with a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., marking the moment the first plane struck the North Tower, and family members will read aloud the names of their loved ones. As the 2,983 names are read, the greatest tribute we can pay to those who perished is to remember the lives they led and the people they touched. I invite you to share in this commemoration by watching the ceremony live online at 911memorial.org/ceremony and encourage you to pause in solemn silence with us as we remember.

Today, as the nation mourns, let our thoughts and prayers be with the families. Together, we will make sure this country never forgets.

Warm regards,

Joe Daniels
President & CEO