WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement in observance of the 3rd anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks:
“The treachery that was perpetrated on this nation three years ago – murderous acts of war that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 of our fellow countrymen and countrywomen – shall never, ever, be forgotten. Or forgiven.
“It’s true that the march of time tends to heal all wounds. But the pain that was provoked by that day’s events has been seared into our national history and weighs heavy on our hearts today. And, it continues to rend the hearts of those who have struggled with the loss of loved ones:
“The little girl who now understands that her father will not be coming home from his New York City fire house. The husband who was confident that his wife was safe at one of the most secure locations in the world – the Pentagon. And the family whose son and brother delivered a defiant, crucial blow for freedom and against terrorism in the skies over Pennsylvania, sacrificing his life to protect untold numbers on the ground below.
“Today, we again mourn the loss of every victim who was stolen on 9/11. We pay tribute to their memories and pray that their souls may rest in eternal peace. Our thoughts and prayers also are with their loved ones and all those who were injured but survived that horrible day.
“Additionally, our thoughts and prayers today are with our servicemen and women and the civilian personnel who have made – and continue to make – such great sacrifices in Afghanistan, Iraq and around the globe in the defense of our nation.
“We honor their courageous service, and we pray for their safe return home. Three years ago today, the forces of darkness and destruction descended upon our open, free and vulnerable nation, and – through a sneak attack on innocents – they believed they could bring us to our knees, leaving us demoralized and defeated.
“But they fundamentally miscalculated the strength of the American character. For out of tragedy and pain, the United States of America has risen strong, proud and resolved to combat and defeat the scourge of terrorism, an unbounded evil that seeks to strangle freedom and tolerance and that scorns basic human decency.
“Let no one be mistaken: We shall win this war – for all those who have perished in the war on terrorism, as well as future generations of Americans who deserve the freedom and liberty that our forebears bequeathed to us.
“Nearly 44 years ago, President Kennedy stated that, ‘In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility – I welcome it.’
“Today, a new generation accepts its responsibility, defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. And it is a responsibility that we shall not shrink from.”