Weekly Columns

9/11: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Senator John Boozman's Column Week of September 5, 2011

Sep 06 2011

It’s hard to believe a decade has passed since the devastating attacks of 9-11. We can all remember where we were when we heard about these tragic events. In real time, we saw the results of terrorism unfold before us. The images of the destruction as airplanes were used as weapons have been embedded in our memory, but so has the American spirit that was still standing after the dust settled. What happened after the moments of devastation on September 11, 2001 unified our nation and demonstrated the perseverance and the will of the American people.

From New York City to Washington and Shanksville, Pennsylvania to the far corners of the globe, we were all profoundly impacted by these acts of terror as more than three thousand innocent people were killed.

To commemorate this 10th anniversary all 100 U.S. Senators cosponsored and passed a resolution establishing a national Moment of Remembrance at noon central on September 11, 2011.  It is of course of utmost importance that we honor the victims not just at that time, but always.  We will forever remember the lost lives and the heroism that was shown by the brave men and women on that day, as well as those who have since given their lives in order to protect the freedoms and beliefs of every American in the Global War on Terror.

In the past ten years, we have changed the way we live in order to protect us from our enemies. With additional security screenings at airports and strengthening security at borders to empowering our military with the resources needed to rid the world of terrorism, we remain committed to ridding the world of terror and the men and women who attack the American way of life.

We can be proud of what we have done accomplished. Our continued efforts brought Osama bin Laden, the mastermind behind these attacks, to justice and we remain vigilant in the battle to hold his followers accountable for their actions.

In the years since these horrors, we have chosen honor the victims with a day of national service and remembrance.  Because of their efforts to build support for this idea, the bipartisan 2009 Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act designated September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with advancing this effort across the country.  That tradition continues this year.

One million Americans are expected to serve their communities in projects ranging from food drives and home repairs to neighborhood cleanups and disaster preparation activities.  September 11th is an opportunity to serve or support a cause as a way of paying tribute to the victims and heroes of 9/11, and remembering the remarkable way that so many rose up in unity and service following the attacks.

We are all working to ensure that the horrors on September 11th don’t happen again. Our perseverance and resilience as a nation will continue as we move forward. May we use this day to reflect on the past, and to never forget as we honor the victims and the heroes who continue to inspire us all.