Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, issued the following statement on the eve of the twentieth anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks:
"As we remember the twentieth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, our hearts are with all those who lost loved ones on that day. We pray for the innocent lives that were lost, and we pray for those who grieve, and for the many who still bear the wounds from these attacks, physical, emotional and spiritual.
"It was a dark day of destruction and death, but we remember also the heroes - first-responders, firefighters, police, emergency medical and rescue teams. Many gave their lives in the service of their neighbors. This violence, borne of the worst evil in the human heart, also brought out the best in our humanity. We think today of the courage and generosity of countless ordinary people and the spirit of unity and authentic patriotism we saw in the days after these attacks.
"We honor the dead by the way we live. And today we pray for a new spirit of national pride and unity. May God inspire in all of us to seek fellowship, reconciliation, and common purpose.
"We ask God to bring comfort to those who mourn and peace to every heart that is consumed by hatred, and may he bring peace to our troubled world.
"We entrust our prayers and our nation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of God and the mother of each one of us."