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Remembering 9/11

Congressman Lamar Smith

By Rep. Lamar Smith Special to the Courier

Throughout US history, there are moments that forever marked every American's life. These moments include some of our country's greatest accomplishments, such as the first human steps on the Moon 45 years ago. Others were moments of tragedy that shocked and grieved every man, woman, and child.
This week, we mark the 13th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on the US in American history. America will never forget the thousands who lost their lives and loved ones on that day in 2001. I will never forget that morning when a plane struck the Pentagon as I was driving by on my way to work. Those cowardly attacks forever changed the lives of thousands of Americans and their families. It also forever changed our nation.
We must remain vigilant in guarding against future attacks, while also preserving the civil liberties that make our country great. As we remember the victims of 9/11 and all the emergency personnel who risked their lives to save their fellow Americans, we thank the many men and women of our Armed Forces who have dedicated their lives to keeping America safe. Thanks to their sacrifice and service, America is still the land of the free and home of the brave.
The September 11, 2012 attacks in Benghazi took the lives of a US ambassador and three other Americans, reminding us that threats still remain. And in recent weeks we find ourselves dealing with yet another terrorist group in the Middle East that threatens the safety and security of our nation.
The forces now moving across Syria and Iraq show no regard for human life or the rule of law. The brutal beheadings of two American journalists shows just what these terrorists are capable of. We must be wise as we decide what actions to take. But we must take this threat seriously, and we must defeat these terrorists who call themselves the Islamic State.
Americans remember where they were 13 years ago today when terrorists attacked our homeland and tried to break our country's spirit. But they also remember the sense of unity that blanketed our country as everyone came together to mourn those no longer with us.
They remember the graciousness of the American people as volunteers flocked from all over to lend their time and efforts to help restore New York City. And they remember the resounding patriotism as American flags flew high on American front porches and businesses.
Once more, we must remain united to stand against forces of evil in the world that would do harm to our nation and our people.