‘From the firefighters who sprinted through smoke… to the citizens who donated blood and flew our flag… to the young men and women who are stationed thousands of miles from home right now to help our nation project power and protect our homeland. We did what Americans do. We stayed strong. We stuck together. And we rolled up our sleeves and rebuilt.’
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Thursday on the Senate floor regarding the upcoming nineteenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks:
“Nineteen years ago tomorrow, thousands of our fellow Americans were murdered by terrorists. National landmarks were burning. Brave first responders in New York City, Arlington, and Pennsylvania rushed into mortal danger, putting their lives on the line to save strangers.
“And as the dust settled, and three thousand American families grieved their loved ones far before their time, we quickly saw there was no going back. The old world that we had woken up to that Tuesday morning was gone.
“We had not gone overseas in search of these monsters; these monsters came to us. These enemies would not leave our nation alone if we declined to confront them.
“So as we reflect on this anniversary tomorrow, we’ll remember the thousands of innocent Americans who died that day... and the brave servicemen and women who went on to pay the ultimate sacrifice to do justice and to prevent more attacks.
“My fellow Kentuckians and I could not be prouder of the heroes stationed on our soil who have deployed throughout the War on Terror.
“The special operators of the 160th, the “Night Stalkers,” based at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, handled the very first airborne insertion of Army troops in mid-October – a dangerous flight over the Hindu Kush mountains. The soldiers they carried were from the famed 5th Special Forces Group, also based at Ft. Campbell, who formed the tip of the spear to unleash the might of America on the terrorists and their Taliban hosts.
“The famous 101st Airborne, also at Fort Campbell, became the first conventional unit on the ground just days later.
“Fast-forward a decade, and the Night Stalkers were helicoptering over Afghanistan yet again. They inserted and extracted SEAL Team Six the night we took Osama bin Laden off the battlefield.
“Thousands more servicemembers deployed from Kentucky’s Fort Knox and Fort Campbell during the War on Terror. And more than 18,000 soldiers and airmen from the Kentucky National Guard have been mobilized to defend our nation.
“And fighting by our side for nearly 20 years now have been our friends and NATO allies. America’s friends invoked Article V right away and have fought alongside us to defeat this global threat.
“That dark day occasioned brave contributions from so many.
“From the firefighters who sprinted through smoke… to the citizens who donated blood and flew our flag… to the young men and women who are stationed thousands of miles from home right now to help our nation project power and protect our homeland.
“We did what Americans do. We stayed strong. We stuck together. And we rolled up our sleeves and rebuilt.
“Some rebuilt lives. Others rebuilt buildings. Some put on the uniform and rebuilt peace and security with their own hands.
“May we never fail to honor them. And may we never tire of the toughness, vigilance, and persistence it has taken — and will continue to take — to make our pledge, “Never Again,” a reality.”
Photo of 9/11 First Responders Commemoration Police Car was taken by Bryan Carrel at the Route 66 Car Show in Ontario California. This vehicle displays the names of those whose lives were lost on that tragic morning of September 11th 2001.