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Expressing Sense of the House on Anniversary of Terrorist Attacks Launched Against United States on September 11, 2001

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HYDE. Madam Speaker, pursuant to the previous order of the House, I call up the resolution (H. Res. 757) expressing the sense of the House of Representatives on the anniversary of the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001, and ask for its immediate consideration in the House.


Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time, and I thank the chairman for introducing this resolution. I stand in strong support of it.

On Friday, September 6, 2002, we had a special session of Congress in Federal Hall in New York City, and the poet laureate of the United States, Billy Collins, read this moving poem, entitled "The Names."

Yesterday, I lay awake in the palm of the night. A soft rain stole in, unhelped by any breeze, and when I saw the silver glaze on the windows, I started with A, with Ackerman, as it happened, Then Baxter and Calabro, Davis and Eberling, names falling into place as droplets fell through the dark. Names printed on the ceiling of the night. Names slipping around a watery bend. Twenty-six willows on the banks of a stream. In the morning, I walked out barefoot among thousands of flowers heavy with dew like the eyes of tears, and each had a name, Fiori inscribed on a yellow petal, then Gonzalez and Han, Ishikawa and Jenkins. Names written in the air and stitched into the cloth of the day. A name under a photograph taped to a mailbox. Monogram on a torn shirt, I see you spelled out on storefront windows and on the bright unfurled awnings of this city. I say the syllables as I turn a corner, Kelly and Lee, Medina, Nardella, and O'Connor. When I peer into the woods, I see a thick tangle where letters are hidden as in a puzzle concocted for children. Parker and Quigley in the twigs of an ash, Rizzo, Schubert, Torres, and Upton, secrets in the boughs of an ancient maple. Names written in the pale sky. Names rising in the updraft amid buildings. Names silent in stone or cried out behind a door. Names blown over the earth and out to sea. In the evening, weakening light, the last swallows. A boy on a lake lifts his oars. A woman by a window puts a match to a candle, and the names are outlined on the rose clouds, Vanacore and Wallace, let X stand, if it can, for the ones unfound. Then Young and Ziminsky, the final jolt of Z. Names etched on the head of a pin. One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel. A blue name needled into the skin. Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers, the bright-eyed daughter, the quick son. Alphabet of names in a green field. Names in the small tracks of birds. Names lifted from a hat or balanced on the tip of the tongue. Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory. So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.


Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, on this day, 3 years ago, our Nation utterly changed as tragedy struck in the streets of Lower Manhattan, the fields of Pennsylvania, and here in our Nation's capital.

On this day, we also saw good rise in the face of evil and heroes rise in the face of danger.

In Lower Manhattan, many of our brave first responders knew the risks they were taking, but were determined to do their job. Police officers and EMS officials calmly escorted workers out of burning buildings as firefighters raced up stairwells of these same buildings to rescue those trapped high above.

When the day was over, and as we learned more about the tragic attacks, and loss of nearly 3,000 Americans, including 700 New Jerseyans, we witnessed neighbors and friends consoling one another and watched as Americans from all walks of life stood united-side-by-side, waving the stars and stripes, and lighting candles to honor those missing or lost.

As America rebounded and recovered, our Nation-displaying the resiliency of its people-responded to these acts of terrorism with the might of our military.

The war we continue to fight today began September 11, 2001. It began without provocation and without warning. It was not a war of our choosing but rather was made our priority. And we are fighting this war in Afaghanistan and Iraq today so that what happened on September 11 does not happen in America again.

So many of our heroes currently fighting terrorism across the globe put their lives on hold after 9/11 to join the National Guard, serve our country, and defend our freedom.

We see the character and resolve of America in these brave young men and women. And especially in this post 9/11 era, we are grateful for their service and sacrifice.

May God Bless those who continue to fight for and defend our freedom, and may God continue to bless America.

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