Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa spoke to the crowd, noting that President George W. Bush is calling the day 'patriot day'. Villaraigosa added that the day should also be recognized as 'hero day' to reflect the awe-inspiring selflessness of so many emergency responders who did not hesitate to take action.
"We saw heroism there in every firefighter who ascended into unknown danger. We saw heroism in every police officer, every paramedic and every volunteer who dug through rubble day after day, tears streaming down their face, but driven by this sense of community with their fellow Americans in need," Villaraigosa said.
Brad Burlingame, brother of the pilot on American Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, also delivered a moving speech.