Each of the candidates for the 2008 Democratic nomination either wrote a piece or released a statement marking the sixth anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, DC, and the crashing of the hijacked flight 93 in Central Pennsylvania. Each of the statements below is unique, and confirms the idea that different people took different lessons away from that terrible day six years ago. Each candidate’s full statement has been linked below.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton’s statement focused on sacrifice and remembering the fallen, “Countless New Yorkers and others continue to experience health problems as a result of the toxic cloud of chemicals and debris that blanketed streets and poisoned lungs. Many are sick. Some have died. We must never forget the sacrifice of those who served at Ground Zero and Fresh Kills in the rescue and recovery – and we must honor their sacrifice by helping all those who need it.”

Sen. Barack Obama’s statement emphasized hope and unity. “The threat that came to our shores that day has only grown. Let us resolve to come together again, united as a people as we were in the days after 9/11. Let us write a new chapter in American history in which hope triumphs over fear, so that we can defend our homeland, uphold our values, and work for a new birth of freedom and opportunity at home and around the world.”

John Edwards talked about America’s courage and strength. “Now, six years later, we must gain further strength from the sacrifices paid on 9/11. As we look forward, in the face of growing threats, Americans must remain vigilant in our fight against terrorism, and seek a new path that unites like-minded nations in a global mission to shut down terrorism once and for all. We have overcome great foes in the past. I have faith that through the same courage and strength displayed by the heroes of 9/11, we will do so again.”

Bill Richardson cautioned that national security policy is no place for partisan politics or bureaucratic turf wars. “To honor the lives of those we lost, the leaders of this country must pledge to do everything in their power to prevent another attack on our homeland. National security cannot and should not be about partisan turf wars. Congress and the White House must move forward in a bipartisan effort to strengthen our nation’s security, improve our intelligence capabilities, and promote a foreign policy that unites the world against the scourge of international terrorism.”

Joe Biden focused the way Americans came together after the attacks. “September 11, 2001, also brought to us enormous inspiration in the form of the many people who lined up for blocks and blocks, single-file, to give blood, even when they were told that blood was no longer needed. That American spirit of unity and sacrifice will enable us to overcome our challenges and emerge stronger, safer and more united than ever before.”

Chris Dodd centered his remarks on the need to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, so that we can better protect the homeland. “Today, America reaffirms her commitment to ensure the cold, calculated and murderous attacks perpetrated against our country never happen again. This begins with quickly and safely ending the war in Iraq and using the resources we had been expending there to reinforce our efforts to secure Afghanistan and hunt down the real terrorists responsible for the 9/11 attacks. It will also require restoring our standing in the world by restoring our Constitution, saying “no” to torture and shutting down Guantanamo. And we must invest in our first responders who keep our country and our communities at the ready.”

Dennis Kucinich called for a period of truth and focused on the fact that 9/11 was used as an excuse for the invasion of Iraq. “Let us not forget the world was with America in our sorrow on September 11, 2001.  The world was prepared to unite with America in a cooperative effort to challenge terrorists who attempt to disrupt civil society.  Instead, the Administration used 9/11 as an excuse to attack a nation that did not attack us.  Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11 or with Al Qaeda’s role in 9/11.  Iraq did not have the intention or the capability of attacking the United States…We need to call those who used 9/11 to take us into war against Iraq to an accounting under the U.S. Constitution, U.S. law, and international law.  We must soon begin a period of truth and reconciliation in our own nation…We must recover our capacity for civic action.  We must reclaim our nation.  The only way we can do that is to tell the truth.” 

Mike Gravel wrote a piece for The Huffington Post titled The Real Lessons of 9/11. “As we mark the six anniversary of the 9/11 attack, it is time for Americans to face the real lessons of that horrible morning. Until we dispel the myths which the Bush Administration and a compliant media have been feeding us, we are doomed to repeat the same mistakes and suffer similar consequences…I do not believe 9/11 was a governmental conspiracy. But I know that our government was partly at fault by engaging in polices that inspired it, failing to take aggressive steps to stop it, and sacrificing the liberty and safety of our citizens after it. It’s time we find out why and do something about it,” Gravel wrote.

Clinton statement

Obama statement

Edwards statement

Richardson statement

Biden statement

Dodd statement

Kucinich statement

Gravel article 

Jason Easley is the politics editor at www.411mania.com/politics His column The Political Universe appears every Tuesday and Friday.

You can listen to a special 9/11 edition of his Blog Talk Radio show titled Remembering 9/11 tonight at 7:00 PM ET at www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse

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