Committee on International Relations
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515-0128
Floor Statement of
The Honorable Henry J. Hyde
In Support of the 9-11 Resolution
Thursday, September 9, 2004
Today we gather in the House of Representatives to consider a resolution commemorating the anniversary of the terrorist attacks launched against the United States on September 11, 2001.
September 11th was a brilliant, sunlit, late-summer morning in New York and Washington. Suddenly, death came raining down from the skies.
Three thousand died, because of the wicked acts of evil men who callously used innocent American citizens as their weapons
The war again terrorism – which is the war for civilization itself – had come home to America.
Now, three years after the fact, all thoughts are drawn to that day. Time may not be an invincible healer, but it does soften and mercifully distance us from many of our sharpest pains and fears. And by transforming private remembrance into a more quiet and interior experience, it gives the public forms of remembrance greater depth and meaning, elevating these above mere ritual. I am certain that all Americans alive that infamous day will give reverence to this anniversary for as long as they live.
We remember today those fellow citizens, and the innocents of all nations, who died on September 11th. We mourn with their families and extend to them, once again, our profound sympathy.
We remember with awe and gratitude the passengers of the fourth plane, the plane intended for the White House or the Capitol, who sacrificed their own lives to prevent the terrorists from achieving their evil goal.
We remember with profound respect the police, the firefighters, and the other emergency workers who charged into burning buildings, often at the cost of their own lives, in acts of selflessness and bravery before which we can only bow our heads.
We honor today the men and women of our armed forces, who have taken the war against terrorism to the fever swamps where terrorism is bred – and who, in doing so, have given a new birth of freedom to long-oppressed peoples.
We remember in sorrow and prayer those brave men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our country.
Their names will not be forgotten.
The just cause for which they paid the final price will not fail.
Freedom and decency will, with God’s grace, prevail over wickedness and wanton killing.
Today, a day for remembrance, is a day for prayer. In silence, let us commend to the merciful hands of God those innocents whose lives were stolen from them three years ago, and those men and women of our armed forces, and those of our allies, who go into harm’s way and risk their lives for freedom’s sake.
May they rest in peace.
I reserve the balance of my time.