Remembering Sept. 11, 2001: Forever ingrained in our minds

Steve Nash
Brownwood Bulletin
August Pfluger

August Pfluger represents Texas District 11 in the U.S. House of Representatives

On this solemn day, we pause to remember the attacks on our homeland that forever changed our nation and took 2,977 American lives.

September 11, 2001 is forever ingrained in our minds. We all remember where we were when we heard the news of the Twin Towers struck by airplanes and the unfolding crisis which seized the country and seemingly froze time. The images of the towers falling, people jumping to their deaths, and our brave first responders running into the danger are images that will live with all of us forever. They truly are as vivid today as they were twenty years ago.

Today, we also pause to honor those who ran into danger when others were running out. We pause to reflect on those who put service and country above self. We pause and recall the stories of unwavering heroism that made the difference between life and death. We pause for those who never came home and said goodbye to family unknowingly for the last time.

What came in the days after the attack was an unshakable sense of patriotism. We are still all Americans. We are still capable of the unity and support we showed our fellow countrymen. American resolve stood tall. Twenty years later, it is time to do the same. Now, more than ever, we must rally as a country. Rally around our troops, rally around our law enforcement, and rally around those who have given their all and sacrificed everything in the name of freedom. I know I can name many of such people. And I am sure you can as well.

Two days ago, I had the opportunity to visit the World Trade Center Memorial in New York City to commemorate the fallen. It was a deeply emotional visit for me. As I stood at Ground Zero you cannot help but be overcome with grief for our fallen citizens. To walk in their footsteps on their final day and reflect on those who wore the uniform and borne the battle in their defense. I met with NYPD and first responders. I heard their stories, and they are as powerful today as ever before. The stunning display at Ground Zero reaffirmed my oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic.

Today, the fight against evil is not finished. The terror threat landscape is as high it has ever been. The recent events in Afghanistan have shaken us back into the reality that there are still radical terrorist groups who wish to do our nation harm. As a member of the Committee on Homeland Security and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, it is my solemn duty to help combat these threats and work to ensure the scenes of 9/11 are memories and not reality.

Thank you to all my fellow servicemen and women and your families for the countless sacrifices you have made over the past twenty years to keep our country safe. We must never forget what happened and we must bring every American in Afghanistan home safely. God bless America.