Since the terrorist attack two weeks ago, millions of Americans have joined together and stood united for freedom.
Millions of American flags have been hung from car antennas, on buildings, in windows and in classrooms. It's been an overwhelming display of patriotism, unlike anything our nation has seen since World War II.
Today, millions of New Yorkers have the obligation to exercise the ultimate expression of their patriotism: their right to vote.
The evil terrorists who murdered thousands of people at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon don't believe in our way of life. They don't believe in justice. They don't believe in opportunity. And most of all, they don't believe in freedom, in our inalienable right to a "government by the people." Our nation was founded on the principle of self-determination. We have, as a nation, grown stronger, more free, more dedicated to liberty through our multiparty political system and the open debate that is a hallmark of our political process.
Throughout our history, millions of Americans, including the victims of Sept. 11, have lost their lives to those who would deny us our freedom to make those choices. The deepest honor we can pay to the victims of the attack on America is to demonstrate our ongoing commitment to freedom and democracy.
It has been said that those things most precious require the greatest sacrifice. So many of our fellow New Yorkers have paid that sacrifice. Today, and again on Election Day, we can pay tribute to them and show the world that we will not be deterred by cowardly acts of murder.
Clearly, as Republicans and Democrats, we have our differences. But we all value the open debate of our electoral process, and we all agree there is no more eloquent expression of American patriotism than casting your ballot in a free, democratic election.
Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Almost the biggest obligation we have today is to prove that in a time of stress we can still live up to our beliefs." Today, in this time of stress, live up to your American beliefs. Demonstrate your love for freedom, for democracy and for America. Please vote.
GOV. GEORGE E. PATAKI
LT. GOV. MARY O. DONOHUE
COMPTROLLER H. CARL MCCALL
ATTORNEY GEN. ELIOT SPITZER