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Public Statements

Expressing Sense of the House on Anniversary of Terrorist Attacks Launsched Against United States on September 11, 2001

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


EXPRESSING SENSE OF THE HOUSE ON ANNIVERSARY OF TERRORIST ATTACKS LAUNCHED AGAINST UNITED STATES ON SEPTEMBER 11, 2001 -- (House of Representatives - September 09, 2004)

Mr. HYDE. Madam Speaker, pursuant to the previous order of the House, I call up the resolution (H. Res. 757) expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001, and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.

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Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the distinguished chairman of the Committee on International Relations, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), along with ranking member, the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos), for introducing this bipartisan resolution as we approach the third anniversary of September 11.

Every American remembers where they were that fateful morning of September 11, 2001. That day, we realized that the world had fundamentally changed. We were introduced to a faceless enemy that wants to destroy our very way of life.

Today we have the solemn privilege of honoring and remembering not only those innocent Americans who lost their lives in these horrific acts, but also those whose loved ones were so violently taken from them.

Since that tragic day, America has responded with determination. Al Qaeda is on the run. Two-thirds of its known leaders have been killed or captured, and a brutal dictator with terrorist ties and a proven appetite for weapons of mass destruction sits in an Iraqi jail. We have worked in cooperation with our allies to take the fight to the terrorists. We have worked aggressively to make our homeland more secure. But we must do more.

On this third observance of the September 11 terrorist attacks, let us keep in mind that the freedom that we as Americans have come to enjoy is a precious thing that can never be taken for granted. The world is a dangerous place, with dark forces that are actively seeking to deny us our cherished liberty.

We take heart in the noble and courageous example that has been set by the men and women of our Armed Forces fighting terrorists and the dictators that harbor them around the globe so we do not have to fight them on our streets and in our cities.

As we go about our daily lives, let us never forget those innocent Americans who were killed that September morning and those who sacrificed their lives in the hopes of saving others.

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Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Speaker, I want to once again thank our distinguished chairman, the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde), for his leadership not only on this debate today but over the last several years as we have all come together to fight this war against international terrorism. I also want to thank the very distinguished gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos). Having served on the Committee on International Relations for the last 10 years, I have had an opportunity to observe firsthand the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos). Although we do not agree on everything, hearing him speak in the committee is like attending a seminar because of the insight and knowledge he has.

Even though this institution sometimes people would say reeks with partisanship, that particular committee under the leadership of the gentleman from Illinois (Mr. Hyde) and the gentleman from California (Mr. Lantos) is an example of true bipartisanship and doing what is right for the country. I thank these gentlemen for their hard work on the Committee on International Relations.

We are here as Members of Congress to honor those who lost their lives on that terrible day and the families that have had to suffer through this terrible tragedy. There were so many heroes in New York and also here in Washington, D.C. because the Pentagon as well was struck and many lives were taken there, but also in that field in Pennsylvania where the fourth plane went down and those passengers on that plane had the opportunity to talk with their loved ones because they had cell phones.

Prior to this incident, whenever there had been a hijacking in this country, and thank God we have not had one for many years in this country, but when there was one, most people assumed they would want to have prisoners released in some other community or something of that nature. No one really anticipated that planes would be flown into buildings, but they talked to their loved ones and they found out what was happening and what happened with the first three planes, so they were determined that would not happen again. Because they were willing to give up their lives in trying to take back that plane, this building that we are in today, the United States Capitol Building, or the building down the street, the White House, stands, whereas they might well have been destroyed and many lives been taken had they not been willing to sacrifice their lives.

But I have always felt those passengers, those innocent passengers on those other three planes would have done the same thing had they been aware of what was happening, but no one could have known. We want to continue to acknowledge the heroes that went into those twin towers on that fateful morning and tried to save other people's lives. There are so many Americans that showed what this country is all about; and we know that we are, after all, the target of these terrorist groups because of what we stand for.

We are that city on the hill that Ronald Reagan referred to, and we must always remember that we must be in this battle against international terrorism for the long term because they ultimately attack us for what we stand for, and that is freedom. Not only freedom for Americans in this country, but freedom for people all around the world who do not at this time live in freedom; but when we prevail in this war against international terrorism, there are many people around the globe that will have the same freedoms that we have in this country.

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