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Public Statements

Expressing Sense Of The House Regarding September 11, 2001

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KING of New York. I thank the gentlelady for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to rise in support of this resolution today. And at the outset, let me commend the majority leader, Mr. Hoyer, and the Republican leader, Mr. Boehner, for introducing the resolution and showing the spirit of bipartisanship that is so essential.

Mr. Speaker, September 11 is not just history. It is real. It is with us every day. As the ranking member, Ms. Ros-Lehtinen, said, I lost approximately 150 friends, neighbors and constituents on September 11, and that is true of almost every Member of the downstate delegation from New York. In fact, I can't drive throughout my district without seeing sign after sign, street signs commemorating the police officers and firefighters who were killed on that day. So this was a real tragedy. It is a real tragedy that continues today in those families, with their friends and with their neighbors.

It is also an ongoing threat against the United States of America. The attacks on September 11 do not end on September 11. The fact is we have an enemy of Islamic terrorism, al Qaeda, which threatens us throughout the world and, indeed, here in our own country. In New York alone, there have been attacks foiled against the Brooklyn Bridge, Herald Square, against Fort Dix in neighboring New Jersey, against the synagogues in Riverdale in the north Bronx. So these are issues. This is a threat which is ongoing and it is real. We always have to keep our defenses up.

We have to thank the men and women of our Armed Forces who are fighting throughout the world, the men and women of our intelligence agencies, the men and women of the State and local police departments in New York, of the New York City Police Department, of the Nassau County Police Department, and of the Suffolk County Police Department. There are more than 1,000 police officers dedicated to fighting terrorism in counterterrorism units. And again, it is a daily, daily effort.

As the ranking member of the Homeland Security Committee, I'm aware of many of the threats we have stopped, and we are realizing again how the enemy is never going to stop, and we can't let our guard down.

Also, in the interests of bipartisanship, I believe we should give President Bush credit for setting up the international level of cooperation with so many countries throughout the world and also for breaking down barriers with their own intelligence agencies and requiring them to share information with local police departments. It is not because of luck we haven't been attacked in 8 years. On September 12, 2001, no one would have thought we would go 8 years without being attacked the way we were on that horrible day of September 11.

Also, in the interest of bipartisanship, it is important for us, as Republicans, to stand with President Obama with his policy in Afghanistan, which is a continuation of efforts that we began against the Taliban and al Qaeda after the attacks of September 11. This issue of international terrorism is too important to allow us to be divided by partisan politics. We came together as a Nation on September 11 and the days after. It is important that we stay together.

This, as President Kennedy said in 1961, is going to be a long twilight struggle. But we won that Cold War, and we're going to win this war. We are going to prevail if we stand together as one, stand together as a Nation and realize that our enemy is attempting to destroy us. But if we stand together as one with our allies and with our forces here in this country, we can never be defeated.


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