“The morning of September 11, 2001 is still vivid in my mind – it was the start of a beautiful day in Washington. The shock and horror that ensued that morning in New York City, in a Pennsylvania field, and at the Pentagon is embedded in me. It is a permanent element of the American psyche, and it fills us all with emotions, especially fear, anger, grief, and sadness.
“The victims of 9/11 were lost that day, but the loved ones they left behind have spent ten years adapting to lives without husbands, mothers, brothers, and daughters. Even after ten years the loss must still be painful and difficult. “As a nation, we still feel the loss, the very sad sense of tragedy and hurt that touched us all. For all of us, September 11, 2001 remains a day that changed us and changed our future.
“Our nation is strong. We as a people are far more powerful, resilient and righteous than the perpetrators of the attack. The lessons of 9/11 continue to be studied, debated, interpreted, and acted on – to our collective benefit and, in some cases, to our detriment. But after ten long, difficult years since that beautiful morning, the most important lesson I can draw upon is the profound blessing I feel to be an American and to share this country, our values, and our freedoms with my fellow citizens.
“We are one nation, one people and the painful, horrific tragedy of 9/11 shall always be a reminder of what it means to be an American standing together, united with my fellow citizens.
“On this tenth anniversary, my thoughts, prayers, and profound sense of gratitude are with the victims of this attack, the men and women who have sacrificed their lives and bodies to keep our nation safe, and the family members who grieve for loved ones lost on September 11th and the many days since in which our fellow citizens have sacrificed for our nation.”
Congresswoman Betty McCollum serves on the House Appropriations and Budget Committees.