Mr. INOUYE. Mr. President, I rise in memory of an unspeakable tragedy that shook our great Nation free of the belief that we are an untouchable force in the modern world, 11 years ago today.
Eleven years ago today an unspeakable tragedy shook our great Nation free of the belief that we are an untouchable force in the modern world.
Today, as we honor the nearly 3,000 innocent men, women, and children who lost their lives at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and in a field in Shanksville, PA, we must remember more than the pain and rage that followed the events of that Tuesday morning.
I cannot help but compare that day to the morning of December 7, 1941, when Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, killing more than 2,400 sailors, soldiers, and civilians, and plunging our Nation into World War II.
The bombing of Pearl Harbor moved me to put on the uniform and join thousands of my brothers in a fight that spanned across Europe and the Asia Pacific.
Like Pearl Harbor, the events of September 11 forced our Nation to send troops into Afghanistan, and later it was used to help justify the invasion of Iraq.
More than 6,000 of our brave men and women have died fighting in those countries, and, like World War II, the loss of life and American resources is staggering.
These attacks on America, the wars that followed, and the aftermath where we searched for hope and dealt with the pain of loss, altered our national consciousness and fortified us for the future that we continue to work hard to build.
To move forward, we must recognize that September 11 was a painful reminder that America must remain ever vigilant to the threats posed by foreign forces and those who abhor the freedom and equality that defines our great Nation.
But most importantly, we have to understand the role America plays in the global community, and we must be respectful of our place and work hard to use what we have been blessed with to ensure that peace and good will reign, regardless of our differences.
I speak from experience when I say that no matter the justification and no matter the final outcome, no nation, no people, escape from war unscathed.
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