- The Washington Times - Friday, September 6, 2002

President Bush issued a formal proclamation designating September 11 as "Patriot Day," saying the more than 3,000 people who perished in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil "will forever hold a cherished place in our hearts and in the history of our nation."

The president also asked state governors and government officials nationwide to honor those killed by flying the flag at half-staff on September 11.

In addition, Mr. Bush encouraged all Americans to display the flag at half-staff from their homes and observe a moment of silence at 8:46 a.m., when the first hijacked plane crashed into the World Trade Center in New York.

"I call upon the people of the United States to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including remembrance services and candlelight vigils," the proclamation said.

The proclamation, issued late Wednesday, followed a joint resolution of Congress last year asking the president to make the designation.

Mr. Bush said victims of the attacks killed in New York, at the Pentagon and in a remote field on Pennsylvania died with "heroism and selflessness; with compassion and courage; and with prayer and hope."

"We will always remember our collective obligation to ensure that justice is done, that freedom prevails and that the principles upon which our nation was founded endure."

Through the events of September 11, Mr. Bush said, a stronger nation has emerged, "renewed by a spirit of national pride and a true love of country."

The president lauded the work of Americans who have contributed to relief efforts, improved homeland security in their communities, and volunteered their time to aid those in need.

"This spirit of service continues to grow as thousands have joined the newly established USA Freedom Corps, committing themselves to changing America one heart at a time through the momentum of millions of acts of decency and kindness."

The Patriot Day proclamation follows another designating Sept. 6-8 as "National Days of Prayer and Remembrance."

On those days, Mr. Bush asked "all Americans to join together in cities, communities, neighborhoods, and places of worship to honor those who were lost, to pray for those who grieve, and to give thanks for God's enduring blessings on our land. And let us, through prayer, seek the wisdom, patience, and strength to bring those responsible for the attacks to justice and to press for a world at peace."

"I ask you to join me during these Days of Prayer and Remembrance in praying for God's continued protection and for the strength to overcome great evil with even greater good."

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