Eleven years ago, 2,977 innocent people were killed in the largest terrorist attack on U.S. soil in our great nation's history. The vivid memory of September 11, 2001 serves as a reminder that there are those out there who would risk everything to attack our very way of life.
I believe that the single most important duty of the federal government is to keep the American people safe and protect our freedoms. Our nation is fortunate to have the dedicated men and women who serve in the military and our law enforcement agencies -- putting their lives on the line every day to keep us safe and preserve our way of life.
In the state of Washington there are more than 73,000 active duty and reserve officers, and countless federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, to which we all owe the highest degree of respect. Through their dedication and sacrifices, terrorists have been taken out all over the Middle East, including 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, and our nation has not seen another terrorist attack on U.S. soil since.
Ensuring our nation's safety starts with providing our brave men and women with the resources needed to protect themselves and keep us safe. In July I was pleased to join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support legislation that provides the funding that our troops need to protect our nation, while making common sense cuts to areas of the Department of Defense budget that do not impact our servicemembers or their missions.
Important progress has been made over the last decade in developing our defenses for today's threat of terrorism. However terrorist threats are constantly evolving, and we must continue to be vigilant to prevent future attacks here at home.
On September 11th, I encourage all Americans to remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day, as well as the brave men and women and their families that have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and protect our way of life throughout our nation's history. Keeping our nation secure is neither a political nor partisan goal. I will continue my work to see that Congress does everything it can to keep America safe.