Political Notebook


Congressmen cite Americans' courage, sacrifice in wake of 9/11

Reps. Marlin Stutzman, R-3rd, and Mike Pence, R-6th, and Sen. Dan Coats, R-Ind., have issued statements marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania.

"On September 11, 2001, Americans were brought face to face with man's capacity for unspeakable evil, but we also caught a glimpse of our better aims as a people," Stutzman said. "Al-Qaeda's hatred found its match in the courage of the passengers of Flight 93, the steady nerves of first responders, and the countless acts of selflessness of both victims and volunteers. Americans were tested that day more than any other. But the American spirit was forged long before the terrorists planned their heinous attack and our spirit will endure long after. During the past decade, our sadness has not faded, our resolve has deepened, and our capacity for virtue has never diminished."

Coats said in a statement:

"In the midst of the heartbreak and wreckage of 9-11, the world also witnessed what is America's greatest strength. Firefighters, nurses, police officers, first responders and local residents worked around the clock to rescue and care for those injured. Food, clothing and monetary donations poured into affected areas from all over the world. In Indiana, Hoosiers stepped up and gave generously their time and resources to help a grieving nation rebuild.

"And across our country, young men and women made the selfless decision to join our Armed Forces and wear the uniform in hopes of preventing an attack from ever occurring again.

"Ten years later, we still remember. We remember and cherish those precious lives lost in downtown New York, at the Pentagon in Washington and in a field in southern Pennsylvania. We remember the families and loved ones of the victims. We remember our brave military who continue the fight against terrorism every single day so Americans can enjoy the freedoms we hold dear.

"Ten years later, America's heart is still hurting, but our resolve and faith remains strong. In honor of the lives lost and the sacrifices made since that tragic September day, let us not forget. Let us remember that restoring America and making our country a safer and more prosperous place is a goal we must all work toward together.

"May God continue to bless America and guide us."

In an op-ed piece sent to Indiana newspapers, Pence said: "To the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who answered that day with resolve, who did what needed to be done without regard to their own safety, we owe our deepest gratitude. I have prayed with the families and wept at the funerals of Hoosiers who did not shrink from 9-11 but grew into heroes whose names will forever be engraved in the heart of a grateful nation. To our police, fire and public safety personnel who ran in when others ran out, who braved the flames, who followed the leads and who took such actions as were necessary to bring us a decade free of another terrorist event on American soil belongs the credit for this day. This anniversary belongs to the fallen, their families and to all those whose diligence and tenacity brought safety to our families and justice to our enemies."

Pence concluded: "A common enemy forged common ground and a new generation of American heroes. Today, we rightly pause to remember those who fell on 9-11 and every day since in the War on Terror. But we also pause to celebrate those Americans who, by their service and sacrifice, have made this day of tragedy into a triumph of freedom."