Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used the fifth anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks as a day to call on the international community to join forces and fight terrorism.
At a remembrance ceremony at the State Department for foreign nationals who died in the Sept. 11 attacks, Rice, dressed in black, addressed a crowd of foreign diplomats, which included former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.
"The Sept. 11 attacks were not only an attack on our people but also on the noblest aspirations of all people," Rice said. "The attackers' reign of terror knows no boundaries, neither of territory nor of morality. This battle is not directed at one country or at one religion or at one race, but against us all."
Rice, standing in front of the flags of the countries honored at the ceremony, cited terrorist attacks since Sept. 11 in Spain, Great Britain, Egypt, Indonesia, Turkey, Iraq and Russia to emphasize the need for global cooperation against terror.
"The attacks only reinforce the clear lesson of Sept. 11: The fight against terrorism is global, and in order to prevail together, we must unite together and we must fight together," she said.
Two young women, who each lost family members in the attacks, came to the podium after Rice spoke and read aloud the names of the countries whose nationals died on Sept. 11. After each country's name was read, a Navy sailor rang a bell in remembrance.
Though there is no exact count of how many foreigners died on Sept. 11 (several countries claimed victims whose surnames may have originated in their country as their citizens), Rice said that there were hundreds of foreign nationals from more than 90 countries killed that day.
"It is our duty and our obligation that they will not be forgotten. It is also our duty and our obligation to try to make certain that such terror does not happen again," she said.
After the reading of the countries' names, the crowd observed a moment of silence in honor of the victims. One of the young women who read the names, Rui Zheng, a Chinese citizen whose parents died aboard American Airlines flight 77, wiped away a tear as the event concluded.