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Neal Statement on 20th Anniversary of 9/11

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Today, we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the atrocious terrorist attacks on our country that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent people.

While 20 years have passed since the planes hit the Twin Towers in New York, the Pentagon in DC, and a field in southwest Pennsylvania, the memories of that day and the ones that followed have not diminished. 

September 11, 2001 remains a tragedy that defines our nation’s history, but the final chapter will be written by those who are charged with keeping our nation and its people safe while preserving the way of life that terrorists seek to change.

In the days that followed the attack, I stood at Ground Zero. I saw the flyers family members placed around the site asking anyone with information about their loved one to contact them. I saw the first responders continuing to dig through the still-smoking rubble. And I saw our nation coming together in a time of horrific tragedy. It was so incredibly poignant.

I can’t help but think of all the children who never met a parent because of these senseless attacks.

On the day of the worst terrorist attack on American soil, our first responders embodied the best of us. These men and women didn’t just save lives; they defined what it means to be a hero.

Today we are reminded that terrorists are committed to wreaking havoc on civilized democracies and the challenge we face is that terrorism doesn’t have an address. Nevertheless, we are stronger than their threats.

We are lucky to have beautiful monuments across the First Congressional District that honor the innocent the innocent, especially to the 20-plus people with ties to the Pioneer Valley who were lost that day. Thank you to the stewards for the preservation of these sites as well as the patriotism and compassion we felt that day.