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Good morning. This is Governor John Baldacci.

Nine years ago, America suffered the worst terrorist attack in the history of our country.

Nearly 3,000 people – from all over the world – were killed when mass murderers hijacked four jetliners and crashed them into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

I know I don’t need to retell the details.

We all remember them clearly and painfully.

The scars from that day – and from the terrible events that they set into motion – may never completely heal.

More than 400 first responders gave their lives on that day.

Firefighters, police officers and paramedics rushed in, risking their own lives trying to save the lives of people they’d never even met.

On United Airlines 93, passengers and crew realized what was happening and mounted the first counter-attack of the day, saving untold lives through their courage and bravery.

The consequences of that terrible day are still being felt.

Nearly 6,000 U.S. military families have lost a son or daughter, father or mother, uncle or cousin in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The sacrifices of the brave men and women who serve in the military and their families continue today.

They are stationed far from home and the comforts we all take for granted.

They are among our best and brightest, and they deserve our support while they serve and when they come home.

September 11th, 2001, changed our world and our country.

In the nine years since then, we have avoided another attack.

But one of the key reasons and lessons learned that day is that we must remain vigilant and be prepared to respond.

September is National Preparedness Month.

For the past five years, we have made a special commitment during the month of September to remind Mainers and the people who visit our State about the importance of being ready in the event disaster strikes.

While September 11th was a man-made disaster, born in the minds of murderers, every year Maine faces the potential for severe storms, floods, heavy snow, freezing temperatures and other dangerous situations.

No one can predict and prevent every calamity, but we can all be prepared in case something does happen.

On the National and State level, we have implemented improved coordination, communication and cooperation.

We can more quickly share information and resources among neighboring states and across borders.

Earlier this year we saw an example of those cross-border efforts.

There was a bomb scare on a bus from Maine that stopped in New Hampshire.

From the earliest moments, my office was in contact with Governor Lynch and law enforcement in our State was working with their New Hampshire and federal counterparts.

Fortunately, there was no bomb and no one was injured or harmed.

The folks at the Maine Emergency Management Agency, the State Police, local and State emergency responders and our federal partners are poised to take action to stop an incident before it happens and to respond if something does happen.

Just last week, we saw our communities pull together in preparation for Hurricane Earl.

Resources were prepositioned. Lines of communication were open. The public was kept informed.

Eventually, Earl moved past Maine without causing significant damage.

But when it comes to pubic health and safety, we can never be too careful.

And on September 11th, thousands of people stepped forward to do what they could to help.

They stood in line to donate blood, sent money, held food drives, reached out to neighbors and strangers to offer help.

During Maine’s infamous Ice Storm, the spirit of community responsibility and looking out for one another helped to protect lives and property.

So whether it’s responding to floods in Aroostook or York counties, to Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans or the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Mainers never hesitate to lend a helping hand.

So on the anniversary of that awful, awful day nine years ago, I cannot help but to remember the loss of life and the destruction.

But I also remember the unity and purpose that possessed our country. The coming together. And the strength of our people.

It is that knowledge that inspires me, even when our politics seem so divided.

Because I know that our State and our country can overcome any crisis, can rise up above any division, and can overcome any challenge.

During this special weekend of remembrance, I hope you all will join me in recognizing not just the tragedy of September 11th, but also the courage and conviction that was demonstrated on that day and every day since.

Thank you for listening on this special weekend.

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