Ten years ago today, terrorists attacked American civilians, on American soil. The destruction of the Murrah Federal Building took the lives of 168 innocent men, women, and children. The victims included 35 fellow employees of the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
We pause today to remember our colleagues and honor them as dedicated public servants who lost their lives that morning simply because they were at the office, doing their jobs. The press accounts called them "ordinary Americans," but they were more than that � they were mothers and fathers, aunts and uncles, friends and mentors who touched many, many others. Even as we mourn their deaths, we celebrate the way in which their lives uplifted the Oklahoma community.
I want to acknowledge and thank the staff of HUD's Oklahoma City Office on this day of remembrance. They continue to carry out HUD's work with commitment, great compassion, and professionalism.
The world has changed in the past ten years, and has been transformed dramatically in the years since September 11. Americans are stronger now. We have a greater sense of pride in our nation. We have rediscovered the life-changing power of public service in our communities. And we refuse to allow the threat of terrorism to keep us from our work.
At HUD, this means extending a hand to a neighbor in need, as we have always done. A simple � but powerful � gesture for complicated times.