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Commemorating the Sixth Anniversary of the September 11 Attack

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, today marks 6 years since September 11, 2001, the day when al-Qaida terrorists unleashed an unprovoked and vicious attack on the American people.

The Senate remembers and honors the innocent victims of that attack and stands in support of their families and communities. Six years later, their healing continues.

Our enemies hoped September 11 would burn as a day America would never forget, and it certainly has. But the terrorists hoped today would mark an anniversary of fear and doubt. Today is a day of sadness, yes, but also of resolve, strength, and renewed purpose.

We remember the kind-heartedness of America that was on display then, when millions of volunteers gave their time, money, and strength of heart to people in need.

We honor our Armed Forces, brave men and women who fight under our flag. They fight on because the war goes on. Recent arrests in Germany, halting what was to be a devastating terrorist attack against American and German targets in that country, are proof this war is not over, that now is not the time to let down our guard or revert to a pre-9/11 approach to the world.

We know the war goes on by listening to the words of our enemies. Osama bin Laden's recently released remarks are more of the same, threats of death and destruction, intended to sow fear in America.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel showed her understanding of the struggle that still lies ahead when she said of Germany's foiled terror plot:

The lesson from this is the danger is not just abstract, it's real.

Real danger struck America 6 years ago. International terrorists had been at war against us long before that. But unlike previous attacks, 9/11 spurred America to take the war to them. By going on the offense, we are winning the war on terrorism. Today we are safer at home and have gone 6 years without another attack.

So today we also honor the efforts of Americans across the land who are working to keep us safe. Many of them are here in the District of Columbia, but not all of them. When one of my Kentucky constituents dials 911, he is more likely to be calling someone in West Liberty than in Washington.

Many brave police officers, firefighters or emergency personnel trained to respond to a threat or attack work in Kentucky towns such as Murray, Morgantown or Mayfield.

Today, we pay tribute to these brave Americans who do not often get the headlines. They are the unsung heroes. When the call goes forth to towns such as Somerset, Sandy Hook or Sacramento, KY, they answer. Today, we honor their sacrifice and service most of all.

It remains this Congress's job to provide the troops with everything they need to complete their mission. I know all of my colleagues are equally dedicated to making sure that happens.

Six years after the September 11 attacks, we can say proudly the terrorists failed. Terrorists may have devastated two buildings and damaged the Pentagon, but they did not dent America's resolve.

While they lashed out to cause death and destruction, we fight for freedom. Freedom is our greatest strength. No terrorist attack will ever diminish that.

I yield the floor.

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