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Mr. LEE of New York. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 4684, the National September 11 Memorial & Museum Commemorative Medal Act.
No one can forget the September morning, where we were, the way we felt, what we feared. As the tragedy unfolded, all of us wondered what it meant for the future.
The attacks of September 11 occurred during a time of relative tranquility for this Nation. The country had entered a new decade, excited about the boundless opportunities that lay ahead of the new century and confident it would realize the potential of its people.
9/11 shook that confidence. The downed planes and the burning buildings and the shattered lives and families showed us just how vulnerable we truly were. At that moment the paths of prosperity and progress, of safety and liberty that our Nation had so surely followed seemed in jeopardy.
But more telling than that day was not how vulnerable we felt when the terrorists struck, but more so how resolute we were in our response and in the comforting arms extended to help our fellow citizens. First responders rushed to the scene. Upon seeing the devastation before them, these men and women rushed into the buildings knowing their lives were in danger. They put aside their personal safety and rushed to the aid of those in need. They epitomized the bravery and resilience that has been the foundation of this Nation since its inception, the compassion and the will that built the United States into truly what it is today.
As Americans and the world witnessed the response, it became clear that although the attacks would change the decisions and circumstances of our Nation, it would not change our resolve. Alongside the tragedy of that day, we watched America's greatness as ordinary citizens showed their capacity, America's capacity, in meeting challenges knows no bounds.
This bill, which enjoys the support of over 300 cosponsors and the entire New York delegation, asks us to remember the individuals who perished that fateful day. It directs the Secretary of the Treasury to make available 2 million silver medals designed to be emblematic of the courage, sacrifice, and strength of those individuals who died in the terrorist attacks and the bravery of those who risked their lives to save others that day.
These medals will be sold with a $10 surcharge that will be paid to the National September 11 Memorial Museum at the World Trade Center. All of this will be accomplished at no cost to the taxpayers.
Mr. Speaker, I stand here today in remembrance of those who lost their lives on September 11. They will never be forgotten.
I commend my colleague from New York (Mr. Nadler), the chief sponsor of this measure, for his commitment to getting this issue before the House today. I encourage my colleagues to support this legislation.
I reserve the balance of my time.
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