Solicitor General Theodore Olson, whose wife, Barbara, was killed in the plane that crashed into the Pentagon Sept. 11, called those who died in the attacks "heroes who inspire us."

"We will never forget our loved ones who died or were injured on Sept. 11," Olson, the Bush administration's top lawyer, said at a remembrance ceremony at the Justice Department Tuesday.

He called those who died "walking, talking, living symbols of all that America stands for." He made no specific mention of his wife, a lawyer and conservative activist.

Barbara Olson had called her husband from the doomed plane and described the hijacking in progress.

Deputy Attorney General Larry Thompson said Barbara Olson's call, made "in the midst of terrible danger and turmoil swirling around her," was a "clarion call that awakened our nation's leaders to the true nature of the events of Sept. 11."

Olson has been one of the administration's chief proponents of tough anti-terrorism laws. He called the hijackers "tyrants, bigots, zealots, and persecutors, so they hate American tolerance and freedom."

"Tens of thousands lost spouses children, parents, neighbors, co-workers and friends," Olson said.

"I say this for every American. We will fight this evil for as long as it takes," Olson said.