Message to a memorial service in St. Thomas Church, New York


You come together in St. Thomas Church in New York on the eve of the first anniversary of the terrible events on 11th September 2001.

Every person who was lost that day was someone very special: a son, a daughter, a father, mother, husband, wife, loved one or valued friend. We remember them today for all they mean to us and for the void they leave in our lives.

At this service this evening we recall especially the British victims, and we think of their families, their friends and colleagues. No words can adequately express the sorrow felt or take away the pain of separation and the grief shared.

The dreadful attacks of 11th September may have threatened freedom, innocence and other values we hold dear, but they also inspired grace, charity and courage. We admire these qualities in the strength of the families of the victims; in the determination of the rescue workers; and in the extraordinary spirit and resilience demonstrated by the people of New York.

We honour the courage and determination of those in our armed forces and others who are striving to bring those responsible for this outrage to justice and to prevent similar atrocities in the future. Right must and will prevail.

I thank the people of this great city for the support that you have given to those from the United Kingdom caught up in this infamous tragedy. You have again given practical expression to the true, deep and lasting friendship between our two countries. My thoughts and prayers are with you all.