Remarks by Minister Cowen, at the ceremony at the US Embassy commemorating the victims of the 11 September Attacks
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Three months on, the shock and horror of 11 September, remains with us all.
What has grown over these three months is the realisation of the true extent of the loss in real human terms, as the stories of the victims and their families have been told. The last phone-calls from the planes and from the World Trade Centre; the unimaginable bravery of New York Firefighters and policemen; the distraught family members waiting, in so many cases in vain, for word of their loved ones.
The outpouring of sympathy and support from the people of Ireland for our American friends at this time of crisis was immediate and to be expected - the ties between our two countries are the ties of flesh and blood. But I also believe that our collective sense of humanity and the values that are the very foundation of our way of life, were gravely offended by the depraved slaughter that occurred. I visited Ground Zero and saw at first hand the awesome destruction that so affronted us all. I saw too, the way that the people of New York were rising to the challenge, a lesson in the strength of the human spirit in the face of adversity, which is the better part of the American and Irish ways of life.
Today we commemorate all those, from so many countries around the globe, including our own, who lost their lives in New York, Washington and Philedelphia, and we express again our deepest sympathy to their families and loved ones.