Ten years after the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, the sorrow remains for the thousands of families and friends who lost loved ones in New York City, Virginia and Pennsylvania. Our thoughts are with them, especially the families of Georgine Rose Corrigan and Christine Snyder, Hawaii residents lost on United Airlines Flight 93, and Patricia Colodner, Maile Hale, Heather Ho, and Richard Y.C. Lee, who died in the attack on the World Trade Center.
We also honor and remember the service and sacrifice of the first responders, law enforcement personnel, volunteers and others who provided aid to the victims at personal risk to themselves.
The tragedy of 9/11 has also come to be known as a moment of great heroism that unified our nation. Waianae High graduate Isaac Ho"opi"i was one such hero. A Pentagon police officer, Ho"opi"i carried the injured and guided people trapped by the smoke in the attack on the Pentagon. Here in Hawaii, we rallied with donations of goods, services and funds to help New York City recover.
Veterans and service members, many of whom were only in grade school on September 11, bravely served and protected our country in the fight against terrorism. They deserve our continuing gratitude and respect. Thanks to these women and men, Americans are safer today.
With our primary mission in Afghanistan achieved, both military commanders and President Obama have advocated a safe withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan and Iraq -- action I have long supported.
While our lives changed forever ten years ago, on this and every September 11, let us recapture the spirit of unity and aloha to stand together to build a stronger country. We remember, we grieve, and we shall never forget.
Mazie K. Hirono
Member of Congress
2nd District of Hawaii