Ten years have passed since Americans felt the first terror of the events of September 11, 2011, and we have been living in the aftermath of that day ever since. You would be hard pressed to find an American adult who does not remember what they were doing when they first heard that our nation was under attack. Today, however, it is more important to me that we reflect on what we as a country have learned since that tragic day.
Almost immediately, we learned about the power and generosity of the human spirit. Whether in the streets of New York City or aboard United Flight 93, heroes were everywhere, from first responders to civilians helping civilians on the street.
In the days and months following 9/11, we saw how quickly a nation can be united by an attack on our shared values. While there are so many differences between Americans, none of them were important when our basic right to move around freely without fear of violence was directly threatened.
Once the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were underway, Americans stepped up to serve and perform great acts of heroism to protect their fellow troops and civilians. It was another example in our long history of Americans' dedication to service and commitment to country.
As a veteran and someone who deeply believes in public service, the lessons of September 11, 2011, must be remembered and retold even 10 years after the day. They have real applications in our life as civilians and also in how Congress should be working in the face of challenges and adversity. As Americans, we have a history of making it through even the toughest of times, and we must remember that as we work against the challenges of unemployment, debt, and continuing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Let's come together on this anniversary and set our sights on getting Americans back to work, rebuilding American industries, and bringing our troops home.