Remembering the September 11 attacks on the 21st anniversary

By U.S. Representative Tom Cole

We remember the tragic attacks of September 11, 2001, when planes were hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the World Trade Centers in New York, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field near Stonycreek Township in Pennsylvania.

Like all Americans who witnessed and endured the terrible attacks on our nation on September 11, 2001, the overwhelming sense of pain and grief has never left my mind.

Now, 21 years after the unconscionable acts of terror, our nation honors the tragic loss of American lives taken from us. Like many others who watched in horror these events unfold, I was devastated by the brutal acts of hatred and destruction.

However, the profound heroism of the first responders and the patriotism of Americans in the days and weeks that followed were inspiring.

As we continue to honor those who lost their lives on that fateful day, we also thank our first responders and members of our armed forces who continue to show courage and dedication to protect our country, ensuring that that freedom remains for generations to come.

Throughout history and in unprecedented times, Americans have banded together and always prevailed. Americans rise to all challenges and face those that threaten our way of life.

Together we will continue to succeed as a great beacon of democracy and freedom for the world.