Remembering 9/11: 10 Years Later
Ten years ago, my wife Tara and I awoke to my mom’s voice on the answering machine telling us to turn on the news. As we rose from a long night of looking after our five-day-old baby, Tommy, at Fort Hood, Texas, we had no idea how much our lives were about to change. Taking the week off from my job as a Captain in the First Calvary Division JAG Corps, I tuned in just as the second plane crashed into the World Trade Center. I'm not sure when I actually got up from the couch again, but it felt like weeks watching the non-stop horror and tragedy unfold. On that day, nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C.
Our country marks September 11 as Patriots Day and as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Today, on the 10th anniversary of those horrific attacks, we gather as Americans to honor the lives that were lost that day. We continue to mourn them and pray for their families and loved ones.
On this anniversary we also remember the heroic service of our first responders. While everyone was escaping the buildings, these brave men and women were running inside to rescue innocent victims of the attacks. These first responders risked, and in many cases lost, their own lives to protect the lives of strangers with loved ones of their own. We will never forget their sacrifice.
Few events have shaped our lives, as individuals and as a nation, as the attacks of September 11, 2001. All of our lives changed that day, but who we are as Americans, and what the terrorists despise, can never change. Today, let us remember that what united our country that day is far greater than any issues that divide us, and let each of us renew our resolve to ensure that such a terrible tragedy never happens again.
Congressman Tom Rooney