This past weekend marked the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, a date that changed our world as we knew it. To commemorate the attack on America and honor those lost, I joined members of our community for remembrance ceremonies at the Pentagon, in Chesapeake Beach, and in Bowie. (To view pictures, click here.)
Since that day a decade ago, we’ve learned a great deal about our world and about ourselves. We learned that, for all that divides us, Americans are capable of great unity and great service to one another. We learned heightened vigilance against all those who mean our nation and our people harm. We learned that our enemies can destroy buildings and even lives, but they cannot touch the principles that define our nation’s meaning and mission: principles that include freedom of conscience, the rule of law, and religious tolerance. Those principles are in our keeping, to weaken in fear, or to strengthen and reaffirm.
At each of the ceremonies I attended on Sunday, one lesson could not have been stronger: the attack on America brought us together, rather than drove us apart. As a nation, we continue to meet the threats facing our nation with courage and confidence, rather than fear. This is the spirit that has driven America and its people for generations, and it is still driving us today.
For me, Sunday was also a reminder of all that is good in our community. In addition to gathering for 9/11 ceremonies, I visited areas of the Fifth District damaged during the recent storms Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. (To view pictures, click here.) As I toured these communities, I saw the overwhelming support of neighbors helping neighbors, and I know that spirit will continue as all of us at the local, State, and Federal level work to ensure that we all have the resources we need to recover and rebuild in the wake of these storms.
As always, thank you for allowing me to share this update with you, and please continue to share your concerns and insights with me by contacting my office.