Justice Graves leads 9-11 Memorial at Supreme Court

Sept. 11, 2003

Mississippi Supreme Court Justice James E. Graves Jr. during a memorial service on Thursday asked justices and court staff to remember the tragedy, reflect on freedom and the gift of life, and renew their commitment to be more loving, tolerant and responsible citizens.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin L. Pittman convened judges and staff for the memorial service commemorating the events of Sept. 11, 2001.

Graves, speaking in the En Banc Room at the court in Jackson, said:

On September 1, 2001, we watched in shock, horror and disbelief a devastating attack against our nation, on our soil and against our democracy. Thousands of men, women and children lost their lives. Almost immediately, as a United States of America, we rallied, we resolved, and we responded.

Now, two years later, we pause in memory of those who lost their lives on that tragic day.

Today, we should remember, reflect, and renew.

Remember how angry and outraged we were.

Remember that the wounds of this tragedy are deep, but the courage and the faith and the determination of the people of this country are even deeper.

And we should also remember that 'Democracy, like love, can survive any attack - save neglect and indifference.' [Paul Sweeney]

Thus, we should reflect on the many freedoms that we sometimes take for granted.

Reflect on the fact that life is a gift. We should thank the giver and make the most of the gift.

Lastly, we should renew our commitment to become more loving, more tolerant, and even more responsible citizens in our democracy.

Some of us in the room hold political office. But 'the most important political office is that of a private citizen.' And then the private citizen should remember that 'Every private citizen has a public responsibility.'

Of the thousands of men, women, children who died that day, most were 'private citizens.'

Let's observe a moment of silence in honor of the victims of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

(pause)

May God bless you and may God bless America.

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