ELEVEN years ago today in New York City almost 3000 people, from more than 90 countries, lost their lives in an act of unspeakable violence.
For me, and for many Americans and people around the world, 9/11 will always be a day that represents humanity at its worst, and humanity at its best; a day when many people experienced senseless violence and tragic, unspeakable loss.
It was also a day when we witnessed the heroism, the generosity, and the compassion that represents the utmost of human good as people from around the world came together to help the victims and the city recover.
As President Obama has said, the legacy of September 11 is one of rescue workers who rushed to the scene, firefighters who charged up the stairs, and passengers who stormed the cockpit — courageous individuals who put their lives on the line to save people they never knew. It is also a legacy of those who stood up to serve in our Armed Forces.
In the 11 years since that day, more than two million American service members have gone to war.
They have volunteered, leaving the comforts of home and family to defend the country they love and the people they hold dear.
My heartfelt thanks go out to the courageous men and women from the islands of the South Pacific who are serving abroad alongside the US military following the attacks of 9/11.
Your sacrifice and support, and that of your families, is greatly valued.
I also want to honour the first responders, police and firefighters, who work here in this region.
The US Embassy in Fiji is proud to support a healthy exchange program with first responders from throughout the South Pacific.
Each year our Embassy provides training for hundreds of military, police, ministry of health officials, and others who serve as first responders in their communities.
Today September 11, 2012, the American flag at the US Embassy in Fiji, and at our Embassies throughout the world, will be flown at half staff as we remember those who lost their lives 11 years ago in New York and those that made countless sacrifices since that day.
* Frankie Reed is the United States Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Tonga, Tuvalu and Nauru.