Message from the Director: Remembering 9/11
Statement to Employees by Director of the Central Intelligence Agency David H. Petraeus on Remembering 9/11.
September 9, 2011
On Sunday, a decade will have passed since the tragic attacks of September 11th. Over Lower Manhattan, gleaming new towers are reclaiming the sky. The limestone walls of the Pentagon are restored. And, the hallowed ground outside Shanksville is a pastoral green. The physical scars have faded, but our memories of that day remain vivid and painful, our sense of loss still intense and heartfelt. Nearly 3,000 lives were taken on 9/11 by an enemy who, lacking any understanding or appreciation of humanity, knows only how to kill. Shock, devastation, anger—these are the emotions we felt, particularly those of us who had taken an oath to defend our country. Indeed, we still feel profound sorrow for the fate that befell so many of our fellow Americans—and hundreds of people from more than fifty other nations—on that terrible morning.
Today, we at the CIA remember them reverently, and we honor the memory of all who have fallen in the long, hard campaign of the past ten years. Working closely with our partners in the Intelligence Community, in the armed forces, and in law enforcement, as well as with our allies worldwide, we have been given the privilege of taking the fight to the enemy wherever we find him. Indeed, your superb tradecraft—in collection, in analysis, in technical operations, and in mission support—combined with your virtually limitless reach, exceptional initiative, and extraordinary agility, have been critical to the steady, resolute progress we have made.
With courage, creativity, and tireless dedication, you have helped prevent another major attack from reaching our nation’s shores. You have tracked our enemies to locations where they once found safehaven, disrupting their plots, decimating their leadership, and achieving a measure of justice on behalf of all who have suffered from their cruelty. You have given the terrorists a hard lesson in reality, forcing them to realize that they gravely miscalculated our nation’s strength, resilience, and resolve. Above all, you have served the American people faithfully and, in every task of your global charter, with great distinction.
Each of us understands the serious danger these adversaries still pose to our country. With a sense of duty and deep determination, we will relentlessly pursue the terrorists and strive to protect our fellow citizens, drawing solemn purpose from the memory of all who have lost their lives in this long fight. I am honored to serve with you in carrying that mission forward.