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I rise today in support of the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act, which I introduced earlier this year in honor of the 10th anniversary of September 11. I represent Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the area where Flight 93 went down, and, more importantly, where the first counterattack of the war on terror occurred.
It has been an honor for me to work closely with the Families of Flight 93 over the years on key initiatives, including funding the Flight 93 National Memorial and awarding the 9/11 heroes a Congressional Gold Medal. The Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act would award one collective Congressional Gold Medal to honor the heroes that perished on 9/11, to be displayed at each memorial site--the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York, and the Pentagon Memorial. The tragic deaths at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in rural Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, have forever changed our Nation.
The officers, emergency workers, and other employees of State and local government agencies, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and of the United States Government and others, who responded to the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and perished as a result of the tragic events of September 11, 2001, took heroic and noble action on that day.
The officers, emergency rescue workers and employees of local and United States Government agencies who responded to the attack on the Pentagon and Washington took heroic and noble action to evacuate the premises and prevent further casualties of the Pentagon employees.
And the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93, recognizing the imminent danger that the aircraft that they had boarded posed to large numbers of innocent men, women, and children, American institutions, and the symbols of American democracy, took heroic and noble action to ensure that that aircraft could not be used as a weapon.
Given the unprecedented nature of the attacks against the United States of America and the need to properly demonstrate the support of the country for those who lost their lives to terrorism, it is fitting that their sacrifice be recognized with the award of an appropriate medal.
Awarding this medal would give Congress and the American people an opportunity to further pay tribute and honor the heroic men and women that lost their lives that day. There would be no better gift this holiday season to those who lost loved ones than passing this bill and officially recognizing those that lost their lives that fateful day.
Mr. Speaker, I urge all my colleagues to support this bill, the Fallen Heroes of 9/11 Act, and I want to thank the over 350 Members I believe it was that signed on to this bill to make it possible that we're here today, going to pass this and hopefully send it to the President.
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