There was a certain eloquence in the days that followed.
On September 11, 2001, NATO's governing North Atlantic Council issued a brief, two-paragraph statement. Its final lines broke from staid diplomatic condemnation and instead spoke straight from the heart.
"Our message to the people of the United States is that we are with you. Our message to those who perpetrated these unspeakable crimes is equally clear: you will not get away with it."Le Monde's front page editorial on September 13, 2001 was also unforgettable:
"Nous sommes tous Américains" (We are all Americans).Even the United Nations General Assembly, meeting in New York City just 24 hours later, managed to restrain itself and issue a concentrated, four-line condemnation of the attacks that expressed, "solidarity with the people and Government of the United States of America." The final sentence anticipated the future "war on terror": the nations of the world called "urgently" for the eradication of all terrorism, stressing that those "harbouring" terrorists would also be held to account. It just made sense to everyone.
In the days that followed, 100,000 marched in Ottawa bearing American and Canadian flags. Thousands marched also in the streets of Germany. Candlelight vigils were held across the world. Flowers were heaped outside U.S. embassies from Moscow to Sydney. People left us messages of solidarity everywhere.
As we remember the events of September 11th, let us also remember the events of September 12th. That spirit of solidarity can still be rekindled, and that gives me much hope.