Peace Corps Remembers 9/11

Agency, Regional Offices Host Ceremony to Honor Patriots\' Day

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 10, 2004 – Three years ago, the Peace Corps lost its New York regional office when the World Trade Center Towers were attacked and destroyed. Although many of the Peace Corps personnel who worked there were not in the office that day, the few who were, escaped unharmed, but not untouched. Nevertheless, the entire Peace Corps family will never forget 9/11 or those who lost their lives.

In an effort to honor the friends, family, Americans and other citizens of the world who perished in New York, at the Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania on 9/11, hundreds of returned Peace Corps volunteers, staff and guests joined together at a remembrance ceremony Friday. The ceremony was held at the Paul D. Coverdell Peace Corps Headquarters building in Washington, D.C., and via videoconferencing technology, linked with staff in the 11 Peace Corps regional recruiting offices in New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Rosslyn, Va., San Francisco, and Seattle.

"While we mourn the deaths of all the innocent victims of 9/11, we must remember that perhaps the most fitting and enduring tribute that we could offer their families would be to help create a safer, friendlier, and more peaceful world," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. "In the spirit of working toward this goal, today, let us rededicate ourselves to the mission of the Peace Corps to advance peace and friendship throughout our communities, throughout our nation, and throughout our world."

Director Vasquez led the event and read portions of messages from around the world sent to the Peace Corps after 9/11, expressing sorrow and condolences for America, but most of all sharing hope. A moment of silence was also observed and a video montage played to honor all those who lost their lives that day.

Since 1961, more than 171,000 volunteers have served in the Peace Corps, working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and prevention, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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