For Immediate Release:
September 14, 2010
(202) 225 - 3130
(202) 225 - 3130
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) introduced a bipartisan resolution today commemorating the anniversary of 9/11, which he co-sponsored with Minority Leader John Boehner. Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:
"As we did nine years ago, today we stand united as one people: united in memory of the dead of September 11th, 2001; united in awe at the heroic sacrifices that graced that dark day, and so many since; and united in resolve to defend our nation and the ideals that animate its spirit.
"September 11th was a day of grief and shock and of fear. But as we reflect back on the terror of that day, these things are within our power: to keep alive the names and memories of the dead; to reclaim the unity of a day on which neighbor reached out to neighbor, and our divisions were submerged; and to rededicate ourselves to the ideals that, no less than buildings, were the targets of attack—ideals like freedom of conscience, rule of law, and religious tolerance.
"For those reasons, I am proud to introduce, along with the Republican Leader, Mr. Boehner, this resolution commemorating the attack on America, its institutions, and its values.
"For many, the shock of that day has faded with time; for some—especially those who loved and lost one of the 3,000—the grief is still fresh; but for all of us, the memory of September 11th is one we will carry with us as long as we live. It is a memory compounded of mourning for the victims, deep sympathy for those who held them dear, and profound pride in the first responders, firefighters, and police officers who served and sacrificed—some their health, and some their lives. Terrorism is intended to provoke the worst in those it targets, but on that day, their service showed America at its best. So we remember in honor the 343 firefighters, 37 Port Authority officers, and 23 police officers who lost their lives—along with the passengers of United Flight 93, whose heroism may have saved this building itself from destruction.
"We also honor those troops who have served far from home. They, too, have shown America at its best: not only those who lost their lives in our country’s service in Afghanistan or Iraq, but all those who are serving as we speak, as their families pray for their safe return. Not all of us can offer sacrifices so profound; but it does not have to be a day of crisis to join with our neighbors in service to our communities—it can be today.
"As we commemorate the gravest attack in American history, we also renew our resolve in the face of those who still intend us harm. This is a day to remember our commitment to defend America from whatever threats we confront us—and to use all of our military force, all of our diplomatic skill, and all the power of our moral example to keep Americans safe. Like the Cold War before it, this is a struggle not just of arms, but of ideologies: and every demonstration that America is a fearless society, a nation of law, and a home for every faith is a victory over the fanatics who attacked us.
"That is our resolve—expressed not only in a vote of this House, but in the courage of our troops, the watchfulness of our intelligence, and in the power of free American citizens to live out the meaning of our ideals every day."