Today we commemorate the 20th anniversary of September 11.
20 years. It’s almost hard to believe. For so many of us, it feels like yesterday. The memories are still so vivid. A Tuesday morning that began so beautifully – clear blue skies, kids heading back to school.
For so many, the pain and heartache persist. But, do you know what else persists? Our patriotism. And our honor and respect for the victims and their families. For the heroes of 9/11.
During the shocking attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania, a staggering 3,000 innocent Americans perished. Thousands more suffered horrendous injuries.
Although two decades have now passed, many are still struggling with the aftermath of that day. Families are still hurting; they still grieve for their loved ones. First responders continue to suffer health impacts, including PTSD. And members of the U.S. Armed Forces continue to protect and defend our country against acts of terrorism.
Consider the recent crisis in Afghanistan. We lost 13 service members in a terrorist attack outside the Kabul airport – 11 Marines, one Army soldier and one Navy corpsman.
Like the brave responders of 9/11 who entered burning buildings and smoldering rubble, these 13 young heroes walked into danger to bring others to safety. They kept their vow to serve. They kept their vow to defend this country that they love.
The workers in Towers 1 and 2 of the World Trade Center who kept their vow to put others first, and let their colleagues take the last few spots on the stairs.
The Army sergeant in the Pentagon who kept her vow to serve and carried her secretary on her back, helping her escape through a window.
The passengers of Flight 93 who kept their vow as Americans and voted – VOTED – to take down the hijackers, saving untold lives.
The firefighters who kept their vow to leave no man behind.
The police officers who kept their vow to protect.
The EMS workers who kept their vow to aid and assist.
As the daughter of a U.S. Air Force veteran, the mother-in-law of a U.S. Army Green Beret, and as your State Senator, I will never, ever, forget the sacrifices made on 9/11 or during the wars that followed.
I am forever grateful for our brave first responders – firefighters, police officers, EMS professionals, members of our military, and others who work tirelessly, and selflessly, to keep us safe. To keep us free. You have my support, my gratitude, and my appreciation.
Today is a day of reflection. A day of remembrance. It’s also a day to focus on what unites us. Do you know what that is?
We are all Americans.
I am so proud to be an American.
God bless our community and God bless the United States of America.