On Sept. 11, 2001, the people of Hawaii woke to the shock and horror of the terrorist attacks on the East Coast. These senseless acts tore at the very fabric of our nation as we struggled to comprehend how such deliberate cruelty could take place in our homeland.

More than 3,000 innocent people, including men and women from Hawaii, lost their lives that day, and the peace and security we once took for granted within our own borders was shattered.

In the face of death and destruction, we also saw the greatness of America. Emergency workers risked their own lives to save strangers.

People from every corner of the nation gave from their hearts to help the victims. Courageous survivors rebuilt their lives. Family members who were left behind carried on the legacy of their loved ones.

As we reflect upon the terrible events of 9-11, we cannot forget the brave men and women currently serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan, and those committed to preserving freedom and democracy around the world.

On this fourth anniversary of 9-11, our nation is again faced with the difficult task of recovering from another national disaster as we grieve for those who perished or were left homeless in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. As the survivors of this tragedy struggle to rebuild their cities and their lives, the unity and resolve of all Americans is being tested once again.

But like 9-11, out of the suffering and devastation of Hurricane Katrina rise heroes who are standing tall in the face of adversity.

Outpourings of compassion and acts of kindness that define the American spirit have begun the healing process and brought us all closer as one community.

On this day of remembrance, we ask the people of Hawaii to honor the bravery of all who lost their lives in these national tragedies.

Whether you light a candle, ring a bell, say a prayer, or observe a moment of silence, let us honor the memory of the victims and stand united with the heroes and patriots of our nation.

Mahalo and God Bless America.

”’Linda Lingle is the governor of the state of Hawaii; James Duke Aiona is the lieutenant governor of Hawaii.”’

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