U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (NJ-12) today addressed the U.S. House of Representatives to recognize the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The text of his remarks follows below.
"Mr. Speaker, this week our nation paused to mark the 10th anniversary of al Qaeda's attack on America. When we remember September 11th, we remember our fear, our shock, our disbelief, our grief. We remember images we wish we could forget. We remember loved ones we wish we could visit just once more. We remember how those who lost a family member channeled their grief and anger into a positive force for change.
"In retrospect, we know our fears and our reaction to them were exaggerated. We allowed ourselves to become more suspicious and distrustful, more militant, more divided. And yet September 11th was not only among our darkest hours, but also among our finest.
"I remember Todd Beamer of Cranbury, who, along with the other passengers on Flight 93, gave his life to prevent another airplane being used as a weapon against the Capitol or the White House. I also remember "the Jersey Girls'--Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Lorie Van Auken, and Mindy Kleinberg--who along with other family members successfully fought to have the 9/11 Commission created. These men and women of 9/11--those who died and those who guard their legacy--remind us all what is great and good about our nation and its people.
"Strangers guided strangers away from the collapsing towers. Across the country, lines stretched around the block of men and women waiting to give blood. For at least a moment, we saw our conflicts and rivalries as what they truly are: small and earnest differences among the brothers and sisters of the American family.
"Tragedy has a way of bringing people closer together. It doesn't minimize our differences; it magnifies everything we have in common.
"I am hopeful today because I believe that, in spite of all the challenges we face, we still have so much in common. We still remain capable of such great things. As we remember our grief, I hope we also remember our unity -- and realize that we are bound together as tightly today as we were a decade ago.