Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, a day where we honor and remember those who lost their lives in the horrific terrorist attacks carried out on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people fell victim to the attacks: loved ones, friends, colleagues, and first responders. The effects of the tremendous loss to our families, our communities and our nation are still being felt today. Life as we knew it changed forever.
The attacks had a profound physical and psychological impact on all aspects of our lives, including the global financial economy. The markets came to a halt that day, and the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq remained closed until September 17, the longest closure since the Great Depression.
Wall Street is often thought of as the heart of the U.S. financial system, and indeed many of those businesses have offices in that part of New York City. However, Wall Street also represents strength and perseverance of the American people, and although they undoubtedly were uncertain and afraid following the attacks, our people demonstrated those values by starting the arduous recovery and rebuilding process.
Whether from satellite offices or restaurant dining rooms, dedicated people set out to account for missing coworkers, re-establish communications, and rebuild vital infrastructure. Despite the unprecedented loss of life and grief we collectively suffered, those who had just witnessed unbelievable atrocities worked around the clock to reopen the markets and help businesses regain access to much needed capital for rebuilding. Some viewed it as their civic duty to uphold the U.S. financial system, while others simply refused to let an act of terrorism crush their spirit. Whatever the reason, we remember their strength and resilience as inspiration to keep going on the darkest days.
There were many lessons we took away from the tragedy of September 11, the most significant being the importance of people. Today, we pay tribute to those we lost and honor their legacy. We remember and recognize the bravery of our citizens who responded to this tragedy with acts of courage to help rebuild our great nation and make us stronger than ever. And we vow never to forget.