This week I attended the Eleventh Observance of the September 11, 2001 Congressional Remembrance Ceremony on the East Front Steps of the Capitol. Eleven years ago this week, America suffered the deadliest attack on domestic soil in our nation's history. Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives in a coordinated suicide attack targeting the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the White House or Capitol. I urge everyone to take time to reflect on the events of that awful day and honor those who perished, their families, and those who continue to fight to protect our homeland from future terrorist attacks. Memphians in particular should remember and honor Gary Lasko and keep his family in their thoughts. Gary Lasko hailed from our great city and died in the collapse of the first World Trade Center building.
September 11th is a day to remember those we lost, and to stand with their families and loved ones. As we pay tribute to those who perished on 9/11, we also honor all victims of terrorism, including those who have been targeted by al Qaeda and other groups around the globe. Since 9/11, extraordinary efforts have been taken to keep America safe -- by first responders and state and local authorities; law enforcement and the intelligence community; and diplomats and troops overseas.
As we pause to remember those who lost their lives on that tragic day, let us also remember the way the nation came together in the days following the attacks. I believe that the best way to honor the victims of 9/11 is to recall the spirit of national unity we all felt after the attacks and let it guide us as we move forward into the second decade of a post-9/11 world. America needs to come together now more than ever. Please join me in keeping the victims of 9/11 and their families in our thoughts. Please also join me in recognizing and honoring U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the other Americans who were killed in Libya earlier this week while serving their country.