Congressman Chuck Fleischmann made the following remarks in commemoration of the 11th Anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
“On Sept. 11, 2001, our nation was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists. Enemies of civilization, these terrorists targeted and murdered nearly 3,000 innocent Americans. To this day, I still vividly remember watching in horror as the twin towers collapsed. The images of the collapsing towers, the damaged Pentagon, and the wreckage of Flight 93 in Pennsylvania are forever burned into my mind.
“Despite the evil of the attack, stories of heroes emerged: Passengers on Flight 93 who stormed the cockpit and prevented an additional attack, firemen and policemen who gave their lives to help workers escape the twin towers, and Father Mychal Judge, who died on scene while administering last rights to the fallen. These stories inspire us, and remind us of the importance of standing up to evil. Of course, no discussion of heroes is complete without mentioning all of the troops who served our nation in response to the attacks.
“Today we honor and remember the dead. We thank those who served, the firemen, police officers, and soldiers who risk their lives every day to keep us safe. May the fallen rest in peace.”
Rep. Tom Graves released the following statement:
“Eleven years ago today, our great land was attacked for who we are and what we represent – a free, open, and democratic society. The radical ideology of oppression responsible for the attacks could not bend or break this nation. Selfless acts of heroism and displays of extraordinary courage marked our efforts to beat back this threat, exposing the very best of what it means to be an American. As the world learned, kindness and decency are rooted in the heart of American society.
"We will always remember and cherish the 3,000 lives that were lost that day, along with the thousands of brave men and women in uniform who died defending our liberties. Our profound gratitude goes to the more than two million service members who have served at home and abroad in the name of defending the greatest nation on earth. We will never forget their sacrifice.
"The struggle continues, and all Americans have an obligation to ensure the torch of liberty is never dimmed, diminished, or extinguished. On this day, we reaffirm our values of freedom, liberty, and love of country. While we hold dear to our hearts the memories of those we lost, we resolve to remain ever-vigilant against this threat and united in our common destiny as Americans.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander released the following statement:
"A good way to remember Sept. 11 is an idea I call ‘Pledge plus Three’: Start each school day with the Pledge of Allegiance—as many schools still do—followed by a teacher or student sharing for three minutes ‘what it means to be an American.’ This would help to put back into its rightful place in our schools the teaching of United States history so that our children grow up learning what it means to be an American. The terrorists who attacked us on September 11 were not just lashing out at buildings and people—they were attacking who we are as Americans.”
Representative Scott DesJarlais released the following statement:
"In big cities and small towns across America, we will gather to pay tribute to the nearly 3,000 innocent Americans whose lives were taken in a vicious and cowardly act of terrorism. These gatherings will be full of prayers and remembrance, while also demonstrating that although Sept. 11, 2001 may have bent the spirit of America, it did not break it.
"Eleven years later, when we look at where the Twin Towers once stood, an almost completed World Trade Center once again dominates the Manhattan Skyline. When finished, it will be New York City's tallest skyscraper. In a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, there is a national memorial dedicated to the brave individuals on Flight 93 who fought to prevent the terrorists from reaching their presumed target, the United States Capitol building. The western side of the Pentagon where terrorists crashed a hijacked commercial airliner has been completely repaired and now houses a chapel dedicated to the lives lost.
"While the physical scars left upon our nation may have all but been erased, the images of that heartbreaking morning will forever be ingrained in our national conscious. We will never forget our fellow Americans who lost their lives during those attacks, nor will we forget the first responders who sacrificed their own lives rescuing those of their neighbors. It is often said that on 9/11 we saw both the worst and the best that humanity has to offer.
"In 11 years we have seen the start and end of a war with Iraq and we have seen our efforts in combating terrorism in Afghanistan begin to wind down. We have seen the death of the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein and justice was finally served to Osama Bin Laden courtesy of the United States Navy Seals. We have killed and apprehended countless terrorist masterminds, including those responsible for plotting the Sept. 11 attacks. Perhaps most importantly, thanks to the skill of our intelligence personnel, in 11 years we haven’t seen another 9/11.
"America has come out of the dark days surrounding Sept. 11, 2001 stronger and more secure. But our safety has not come without cost. We owe an immeasurable debt to the men and women in uniform who selflessly put their lives on the line defending our nation. Unfortunately, many of these brave individuals made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting the freedoms that we so greatly cherish. This day, we should all pause to pay tribute to true heroes like Lance Cpl. Andrew. P. Carpenter of Columbia, Tennessee who lost his life serving in Afghanistan. And we must never forget the commitment we have made to all returning veterans who bear both the physical and mental injuries of battle.
"For those born since the attacks of Sept. 11 we must impress upon them how in our nation’s bleakest hours, we came together as country to show the world that freedom and democracy will never succumb to fear and evil. While we were badly bruised and deeply saddened, out of the fire and smoke of that day we forged a strength and indomitable spirit that can only be described as quintessentially American.
"There is no doubt that we still face many challenges, both foreign and domestic, and that the road to recovery seems almost endless. But if 9/11 has shown us anything, it is that there is no hurdle too high, and no mountain too big that together we cannot overcome.
"God bless America."
Speaker Beth Harwell released the following statement:
“Today we remember those who perished in the attacks on our great nation on Sept.11, 2001. Our first responders have always shown bravery and heroism in the face of unthinkable acts. We remember and thank all those who have served the United States in the military and those who have sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom. Americans made a solemn vow on 9/11 that we would never forget--today, we honor that promise and those who have worked every day since to ensure the United States remains the freest and most prosperous country on the planet.”