By Molly K. Hooper - 09/12/11 11:36 PM EDT
Scores of House and Senate lawmakers gathered on the East Front of the Capitol Monday night in remembrance of the ten-year mark of the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
Though the event was held a day after 9/11, the top four House and Senate leaders spoke of the bravery on display that day, and the ways in which the country has changed.
"Every day is a day that we are indebted to our first responders, to them at that time and every day since, to our service members and their families, to all who work to keep us safe," Pelosi said.
She noted that earlier this year members of Congress and other individuals across the country "had the privilege of stitching the flag that flew over ground zero on that fateful day." Pelosi revealed that "threads from the flag that covered President Lincoln's body after his assassination" would be used to stitch on portions of flags to the flag that flew over ground zero.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) shared his recollection of that day, adding that "I don’t suppose there was a single person in this country that morning who thought we’d be able to stand here today, 10 years later, and say there hadn’t been a single major attack on our homeland since then."
McConnell said that some "may have wondered on 9/11 whether America had it in her to respond."
"But today there should be no question. We didn’t hide. We fought back. We showed the terrorists what America is all about. You can destroy our symbols, but not our spirit. And a decade after 9/11, I’m with those who believe America is stronger today than it was then," McConnell concluded his remarks.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) echoed similar sentiments in their remarks.
The event concluded with a rendition of "God Bless America" - the song that lawmakers sang 10 years ago, yesterday, on the steps of the Capitol, following the horrific terror attacks.