In Honor of the Tenth Anniversary of September 11, 2001

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 9, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. MATHESON. Mr. Speaker, this anniversary is first, last and always a day of remembrance. The shock and horror of that day has receded. But all of us remember where we were on that morning when passenger jets became missiles, striking the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The mountains of debris left when they collapsed are gone. The Pentagon has long since been restored. The field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania is a burial ground still, where contemplation by those who return is reverent and sorrowful. Two Utahns were aboard one of the hijacked planes that struck the first tower; another Utahn died at his job in the Pentagon when a third jet crashed into it.

* The passing days brought much heartache. Not all Americans lost family members during the terrorist attacks, yet it felt as though we did. In the aftermath, many of us lit candles, mailed donations, flew our flag, and hugged our children more tightly at night as we tucked them into bed. The heroes of 9/11--members of the New York and Port Authority police departments and the New York City firefighters--quickly replaced the frightening images of the hijackers. From across this country, ordinary people put comfortable lives on hold in order to join the rescue and recovery effort. Later on, thousands of men and women from all walks of life stepped forward, donned our country's uniform and took the fight to those who plotted against America. Terrorists tried to break America apart; instead, their actions brought Americans together.

* The September 11th attacks triggered American resilience. We worked hard to return to normal--a new kind of normal. As a Nation, we have made ourselves safer and more vigilant--at airports, on trains, on subways, at ports and in cyberspace. We strengthened intelligence and information sharing, we traced the money and shut down terrorist bank accounts, and we foiled al Qaeda. The U.S. and its allies have hunted down, captured or killed over 600 U.S. targets, including the masterminds of 9/11--Khalid Sheikh Muhammad and Osama bin Laden.

* Ultimately, it is America's courage and America's values that defeated the terrorists. As British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in an address to Congress, ``We are so much more powerful in all conventional ways than the terrorists. In the end, it is not our power alone that will defeat this evil. Our ultimate weapon is not our guns, but our beliefs.'' This anniversary is but one marker along the way to building on the dream that is our democratic Nation--the land of the free and the home of the brave.