"Today we honor the memory of the thousands of lives lost on September 11, 2001, and commemorate the heroism displayed on that day. On September 11, we were not Democrats or Republicans, black or white, gay or straight; we were Americans. Despite the political backdrop of the moment, on 9/11 let us remember we are all Americans and treasure the freedoms we hold dear.
"People who would have called themselves "average Americans' showed themselves to be anything but average when they faced unspeakable terror. One such American was Tom Burnett. Tom grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota, and led his high school's football team as its starting quarterback. He attended the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota after transferring from Saint John's University in Northern Minnesota. Tom would later become the Chief Technology Officer of a medical device company that helps patients who have suffered from heart failure.
"But on September 11, Tom was one of the passengers who foiled the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93. Showing true courage, he set aside concerns about his own life to prevent a planned attack on the United States Capitol. His last words to his wife were reportedly, "We're all going to die, but three of us are going to do something.'
"We honor Tom Burnett's selflessness and acknowledge his gift to our nation and his family's loss. We also should honor his sacrifice, and the lives of the thousands we lost, by taking time each day to cherish our friends, family, and nation and remembering the common bonds that tie us together."