The United States on Sunday pledged never to forget the enemy which was responsible for the 9/11 terror attacks in the country 10 years ago and said it will not rest till al Qaeda is completely destroyed.
"We will not stop. You will not stop until al Qaeda is not only disrupted, but completely dismantled and ultimately destroyed," vice president Joe Biden told US soldiers at the 9/11 observance ceremony at the Pentagon.
Biden said over a decade of war, the US military and intelligence community pioneered new tactics, mastered new language, developed and employed advanced new technologies.
"They took on responsibilities once reserved only to those with considerably more seniority; responsibilities that extended beyond the base or the battlefield, to the politics of Afghanistan, to the politics of Iraq, to the economies of those countries and to the development task that ultimately will lay the groundwork for us to leave behind stable
countries that will not threaten us," he said.
"And along with the intelligence community and the law enforcement community, they relentlessly took the fight to al Qaeda and its affiliates. They were prepared to follow bin Laden to hell's gate if necessary and they got him," he said.
Biden said the terrorists who attacked the Pentagon sought to weaken America by shattering this defining symbol of our military might and prowess. "But they failed."
Defence secretary Leon Panetta said, "By these memorials to each victim, we pledge to never forget the enemy that made this happen, why we fight them, and why we will never stop fighting them to make sure that what happened here and in New York City and in the field in Pennsylvania never happens again."
"As we recall that day of tragedy and trauma, of bravery and heroism, we remember it as a defining moment for all Americans. We were challenged by al Qaeda and its vicious hatred aimed squarely at our values. They tried to weaken us and instead they made us stronger," Panetta said.
"Out of the darkness of this grief, out of the darkness of this sorrow, has come the light of inspiration to serve America, to fight our enemies, to protect the safety and freedom of the American people, and to make our country stronger and better for future generations of Americans," Panetta said.
Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, said a whole new generation has been inspired to serve, many of them in uniform.
"Indeed, from this place of wrath and tears, America's military ventured forth as the long arm and clenched fist of an angry nation at war. And we have remained at war ever since, visiting upon our enemies the vengeance they were due and providing for the American people the common defense they demand," he said.