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Sen. McConnell Op-ed on the Sixth Anniversary of September 11, 2001


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Sen. McConnell Op-ed on the Sixth Anniversary of September 11, 2001

Six years have passed since September 11, 2001, the day when Al Qaeda terrorists unleashed an unprovoked and vicious attack on the American people.

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

The terrorists who attacked us hoped September 11 would burn as a day America would never forget—and it has. But not for the reasons they thought.

They hoped September 11 would mark an anniversary of fear and doubt. The date is a day of sadness, yes—but also of resolve, strength and renewed purpose.

We take the day to 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 take the day to 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 that this war is not over, and 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 six 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 Terror. And today we are safer at home, and have gone six years without another attack.

So this September 11 we also honor the efforts of Americans across the land who are working to keep us safe. Many of them are in the District of Columbia—but not all of them.

When one of you dials 911, you're more likely to be calling someone in West Liberty, Kentucky, than Washington.

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

We should pay tribute to these brave Americans who don't often get the headlines. They are the unsung heroes. When the call goes forth to towns like Somerset, Sandy Hook or Sacramento, Kentucky, they answer. We honor their sacrifice and service most of all.

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

Six years after the September 11 attacks, we can say proudly that 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.

Senator McConnell is the Senate Republican Leader and only the second Kentuckian to lead his party in the U.S. Senate.

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