CHICAGO – Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today joined with firefighters and Illinois leaders outside the Holy Name Cathedral to observe a moment of silence and remember the horrific September 11th terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, DC. The Governor proclaimed a Day of Remembrance, ordered all Illinois state facilities to fly their flags at half-staff, and invited Illinoisans to observe a moment of silence at 7:46 am. At that time, bells rang to mark the moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center.
“Five years ago today, life changed for every American. Not only did we gain a new understanding of our vulnerabilities and the brutal consequences of hate, but we also witnessed remarkable bravery and selflessness. We became a more united country than most of us can remember in our lifetimes. We pause today to remember all the people we lost on 9/11 – the regular workers going about their daily lives, and the courageous firefighters and police officers who didn’t think twice about doing their duty to protect the public. And in remembering them, we commit ourselves to carrying on their goodness and dedication, using our freedom and what remains of our lives to do better,” said Governor Blagojevich.
The Governor noted how the country had shifted since the horrific attack with more energy and resources being dedicated to homeland security. Five years after 9/11, Illinois has taken a number of steps in order to prevent similar disasters from occurring in this state, including: accreditation by the Emergency Management Accreditation Program, collaboration of a robust mutual aid system, creation of a terrorism intelligence fusion center, completion of a new State Operations Center, exercises in preparation for terror attacks, major disasters and pandemic flu. Illinois has been celebrated at the national level for its efforts in homeland security.