For the past seven years, there have already been in place two memorials at Logan Airport, dedicated to the 147 men, women and children who perished the morning of September 11, 2001 on American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175.
One stands outside Gate 32 in American Airline’s Terminal B. The other stands outside Gate 19 in United’s Terminal C. ÿBoth memorials appeared spontaneously, raised by airport and airline employees without fanfare or ceremony. ÿThese two memorials are one and the same. And there is no grander memorial. That memorial is the flag of the United States of America. ÿ
The flags fly proudly to this day, and will likely fly forever. They symbolize the determination of this airport, this nation, and the community assembled here to recover from the grievous wound of 9/11.
Today, we dedicate a third memorial as a remembrance of that day and its impact on all of us. Unlike the first two memorials, this memorial is accessible to all who come to this airport. And this memorial acknowledges each lost soul by name.
It is a simple tribute. A quiet place of reflection. Hopefully, a place for healing. And, with the passage of time, a place for learning and education, as well.
This memorial is first and foremost for you, the family members and friends of those who perished that sunny September morning. They never asked to make history, yet they did so in the saddest possible way.
The weight of September 11 also bore heavily on the entire Logan airport community who were devastated to learn that two of OUR flights – OUR flight 11, OUR flight 175 — were instruments in the tragedy that unfolded. We at Massport and the entire Logan family hope that you – and we – will find comfort in this place. ÿÿAnd in the years to come, we hope that many thousands of visitors – perhaps millions – will also come here to reflect, to heal and to learn.
Changing our own lives will be the greatest gift we can give to the departed. ÿThey surely expect more from us than to merely memorialize their names. ÿThey surely want us to do more, work harder, be better, to be inspired by remembering them.
So, for the sacrifice of those we honor here today, may this memorial make us better fathers and mothers, sons and daughters.
For their sacrifice, may we be better custodians of the public trust, ever vigilant for the public safety.
For their sacrifice may we be better citizens and neighbors.
And in the morning, with the rising of the sun, and with the sounds of freedom in the sky, in this place we shall remember them.