WASHINGTON – Today, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., released the following video honoring the fallen of September 11th, 2001. A clip and full text of the speech are below,
Please click the image above to view Rep. Foxx's speech
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the nearly three thousand souls that were taken from us much too soon on September 11th, sixteen years ago.
Like many others, the events of September 11th 2001, are forever etched in my memory. On that day I was in Raleigh, North Carolina, serving in the State Legislature and recall an aid coming in to share the news. Naturally, when hearing about the first plane hitting the World Trade Center we all thought a terrible accident had occurred.
My colleagues and I were in a state of shock and grief when we heard about the second plane, and the subsequent attacks that followed. What I remember most, is the feeling of abject horror and disbelief we experienced on that day.
That horror is still felt by the family members that were left behind, robbed of their loved ones who were violently taken too soon. I often think of the brave first-responders who ran towards danger, with thought of little else other than to save their fellow Americans. The terror attacks seemed surreal, and yet the aftermath has a finality which does not dissipate with time.
As years pass, the shock of the attack have diminished but the memory of the feeling of hope that arose from the acts of selfless Americans is stronger. In my mind, one of the very worst events in human history became overshadowed as the very best in us – as a people – was made evident through countless acts of kindness and dignity. It is this dignity we must hold on to in order to truly honor the fallen.
From the first-responders, citizens, volunteers and finally the devoted souls on board Flight 93, I remember the moments in which the very best parts of Americans shown brightest. These moments include when our citizens were no longer categorized by their differences, but were defined by their shared determination not only to survive – but to overcome an unthinkable tragedy.
If a student asks me about my memories of September 11th, I always tell them honestly of the horror I felt, and I tell them of the hope that emerged as our people did their level best to turn evil into good.
While I will never forget September 11, 2001 and the lives that were forever lost to us on that day sixteen years ago, I take some comfort in knowing that a loving and never-changing God, called them to Heaven to live in His presence, forever.
Now, more than ever before, we must recall the sacrifices made by so many in the aftermath of September 11th, and recall that freedom is never truly freely given. It is earned, it is hard fought for, and it is something we must all work together to continue to achieve.
May God bless all of those who lost their lives on September 11th, those who were left behind, and those who continue to fight for our freedom.
U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx represents North Carolina’s 5th Congressional District and is the chairwoman of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce.