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Public Statements

Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of September 11, 2001

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

* Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, this weekend, we as a Nation commemorated the 10th anniversary of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. Like all Americans, I spent a great deal of time thinking about where I was on that sunny Tuesday ten years ago. I was sitting in my office at the Rules Committee on the third floor of the Capitol when the first plane hit the north tower of the World Trade Center. I remained there until 10:30 a.m., when a full evacuation of the Capitol was imposed.

* During that time prior to the evacuation, I watched the news coverage of the planes that hit the south tower of the WTC and the Pentagon. I later heard the news of Flight 93, which crashed in a field near Shanksville, PA. Knowing what we know now of the hijackers' intentions, this treasured building and the lives of all of us who were here that morning were preserved because of the heroics of the passengers of Flight 93.

* I had the privilege of spending last Saturday in Shanksville with the families of those brave men and women. It was their loved ones' sacrifice that saved the lives of so many here in the Capitol that day. They also saved what has become the world's most recognizable symbol of democracy. I cannot think about that tragic day without thinking of the words inscribed on walls of the Capitol, just above the door to the Sergeant at Arms' office: ``We have built no temple but the Capitol; we consult no common oracle but the Constitution.''

* It was my belief that this hallowed structure was as untouchable as the democracy it represents that led me to remain here, even as planes crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that day. Last week, a reporter questioned me, somewhat incredulously, as to how I could have been so nai 4ve as to remain in my office that morning. I replied that we were all nai 4ve that day. We learned in the most painful and tragic way possible that we were not untouchable; but we also learned, and have been continually reminded ever since, that as long as brave men and women are willing to fight for this country, we will continue to endure.

* With this truth in mind, I submit for the RECORD

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