Weekly Columns

We Will Never Forget

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Washington, September 14, 2017 | Lani Short (202-225-6356) | comments

Sixteen years ago this week, on September 11, 2001, America was attacked by radical Islamic terrorists. That morning will forever be seared into my mind as nearly 3,000 of our fellow citizens were murdered in New York, Washington, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Two years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the National September 11 Memorial and Museum at the World Trade Center site in New York and pay my respects to those who lost their lives. It is an incredibly moving tribute and I encourage all Americans to visit the site. Visiting the memorial reminded me of the terror we all felt as we watched the towers fall, but much more than that it reminded me of the unity our country experienced in the days and weeks following that horrific event.

Three weeks ago, President Trump outlined his strategy for victory in the war in Afghanistan, which began 16 years ago in response to the terrorist attacks. Among the strategies the president intends to pursue are increasing troops in the region to combat deteriorating security in the country, and pressure on Pakistan to persuade them to track down terrorists living in their country. These strategies combined will allow our military to work on counterterrorism missions and training Afghan forces, which is imperative for leaving a secure country that does not create a void which allows terrorist networks to expand once again.

Over the past eight years, restrictions were placed on U.S. offensive operations in Afghanistan in order to meet arbitrary political deadlines to withdraw our troops, and the result has been far less stability. President Trump committed to giving more authority to military commanders in order to target terrorists and criminal networks in Afghanistan. The president said it well in his speech: “Our troops will fight to win… From now on, victory will have a clear definition, attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al Qaeda, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge."

America continues as a beacon of freedom and hope. We are united in our love for our country, and our desire to preserve the freedoms we hold dear. The men and women who fought and are fighting bravely to protect these freedoms deserve our utmost respect and support. I encourage you to take a moment to say a prayer for the men and women currently in our armed forces, as well as those who previously served. I am also grateful for law enforcement officers and our first responders working behind the scenes to keep the public safe.

In the 16 years since September 11, 2001, the world has become a more dangerous place and the threat of terrorism remains, but the resolve of Americans is strong. My thoughts and prayers remain with every victim, family member, loved one and first responders who suffered because of the heinous attacks that forever changed our country that day, and in any attacks since. We are joined together by our hope that America’s best and brightest days are yet to come. We remember, and we will never forget.

As always, feel free to contact my office if I can be of assistance to you or your family.

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Tags: Defense