As America remembers the 10th Anniversary of the terrorist attacks that took place on September 11, 2001, Rep. Ralph Hall (TX-04) released the following statement:
"Today we join fellow Americans throughout our Nation in remembrance of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 as we pay tribute to all those who lost their lives on that infamous day.
"9/11 is a day that will take its place in the history of our Nation. For my generation, who will always remember the 'day that will live in infamy' when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, so it will be for all of us who remember the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and the crash of Flight 93 in the fields of Pennsylvania. We will always remember where we were and how we felt - and we will especially remember how our Nation came together to overcome these tragedies at home and to resolve to defeat this new enemy of freedom and democracy abroad.
"Today we remember the innocent victims of the attacks and their families and friends: the 2,606 who lost their lives when the Twin Towers fell in New York City; the 125 who lost their lives at the Pentagon; and the 246 passengers who lost their lives on the four hijacked planes - 40 of whom lost their lives when they forced Flight 93 to crash in Pennsylvania rather than cause more deaths and destruction in what we believe would have been an attack on our Nation's Capitol or the White House.
"And we remember the bravery, heroism, and selfless efforts by first responders who saved countless others, and who lost their own lives in the process: the 343 firefighters, 23 police officers, 37 port authority officers, 15 EMTs, and 3 court officers from New York City.
"Like December 7th, 1941, the events of September 11, 2001 called for America's strong response and resolve. President George Bush provided that leadership for our Nation. His forceful response and determination helped America overcome the shock and terror of the attacks, and he helped garner support from our Allies as we launched the War on Terrorism. His leadership united our Nation and the civilized world against the terrorists and those who protected them, and he gave us confidence that America would prevail.
"Today we honor all the men and women in uniform who place their lives in harm's way in defense of our Nation and in the cause of freedom. We mourn those who have given their lives for their country in this War on Terrorism and share the grief with their families and friends. We honor those who have been injured and those who have sacrificed the security and comfort of home and family to risk their lives so that our Nation might remain safe and free.
"We owe all of these men and women a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid. The news of Osama bin Laden's death this past May has brought a sense of relief and justice, and we owe our continued gratitude to the Navy SEALs and CIA paramilitary forces who put their lives on the line to see this murderer taken down.
"In addition, the coordinated efforts of our intelligence agencies and law enforcement are helping to keep us safe, and their efforts have helped prevent any further attacks on American soil.
"As a result of all of these efforts, our children are able to go to sleep at night without fear, and Americans are able to resume their day-to-day lives without the constant threat of attacks.
"I have often heard the quote accredited to Thomas Jefferson that 'eternal vigilance is the price we pay for freedom.' We must remember that the enemy is still dedicated to the harm of others and the destruction of democracy.
"So we must remain vigilant and watchful. We must understand that freedom is not free. And we must remember that while we may have the mightiest military force in the world, the most powerful weapon we have is the power of prayer.
"As we pause today to remember 9/11, let's also remember to lift our hearts, minds, and souls in prayer for our Nation and for those who put their lives in harm's way to secure our safety and our freedom. May God continue to bless America."