We Will Never Forget: Honoring the Victims of 9/11
September 11, 2001 will always be remembered in our country’s history.
Nineteen years later, we come together — whether in-person or virtually — to remember those we lost, as well as the first responders and everyday heroes who saved countless lives. We must also take the time to thank our service members who have put themselves at great risk to keep our country safe, secure, and free.
In the horrific 9/11 attacks, we lost fellow Granite Staters, including Portsmouth’s Tom McGuinness, the co-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11, and Nashua High School graduate and flight attendant Madeline Amy Sweeney, who called a ground supervisor from aboard Flight 11 and relayed information about the hijackers before the plane crashed into the World Trade Center.
Countless Americans showed extraordinary courage and compassion in that moment of crisis and in the days after, coming together to rebuild and heal. Our response as a nation reinforced who we are as a people: we are strong, we are kind, and we are resilient.
Over the years, we have continued to find ways to remember the devastating events of 9/11. Today I spoke with Fire Chief Robert Buxton and Hudson Selectman David Morin who were instrumental in building a 9/11 Memorial in Hudson’s Benson Park that includes steel from the World Trade Center in honor of David Kovalcin, a Hudson husband and father who died aboard Flight 11.
Last year, I also had the honor of visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City with my colleagues on the Senate Homeland Security Committee.
These memorials help to carry on the legacy of our fellow Americans who died in the 9/11 attacks and in their aftermath. And just as we honor them, we also need a national memorial to honor all who served — and continue to serve — in the Global War on Terrorism.
That’s why I’m part of a bipartisan push to construct a Global War on Terrorism Memorial that would sit at the heart of our nation’s capital, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. This memorial would take its place alongside some of our nation’s most notable memorials to the veterans and fallen soldiers from other wars and conflicts who also bravely defended America’s freedom. It would also pay tribute to the tremendous sacrifice made by both civilians and our service member’s families.
Though we can never repay our service members and our veterans fully, we owe it to them to honor their sacrifice and to thank them and their families for keeping our country safe following those devastating attacks.
While today is a day to mourn, it also reminds us that Americans, when challenged, come together, find a way forward, and demonstrate an unbreakable resilience. That is what we did nineteen years ago today. And that is what we must do again amid this devastating pandemic.
As we mark this anniversary, let’s rededicate ourselves to the commitment to each other as Americans and stand together for freedom.