Mr. COSTELLO. Mr. Speaker, today we mark the llth Anniversary of the
attacks on the United States. While we have moved more than a decade beyond that tragedy, the attacks remain an indelible part of our memory. Truly, no one who lived through that day will ever forget it--the horrendous loss of life, the bravery of our first responders, the sense of unity that followed--and it falls to us to ensure that future generations understand the magnitude of the event.
This is particularly so as other events impact our view of how we have reacted to 9/11. The capture and killing of Osama Bin Laden and the removal of our troops from Iraq can be seen as turn-the-corner moments in the war on terror, but the daily hard work of our military and intelligence community must continue--we must remain vigilant. I remember feeling that day and the days that followed that we were in uncharted territory as a nation. As a country and a society, we are learning as we go, adjusting and adapting to the new realities that 9/11 brought upon us and that have ensued since, such as the Arab Spring.
This process can be bumpy, and is ever changing, as we continue to weigh the appropriate balance in our security and foreign policy decisions. What is clear is that we continue to owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to our troops, who risk all in Afghanistan and elsewhere to protect our freedom, and our intelligence professionals, who are also on the front lines of our defense, making critical decisions that keep us safe every day.
More than anything, 11 years later, 9/11 underscores what it means to be an American, where we come together during even the toughest times, weather the storm and move forward. That is what 9/11 means to me, and that is the lesson that will endure for the ages, for all to see.