September 11, 2021
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) released the following statement from Senator King marking the 20th anniversary of the September 11th, 2001 terror attacks:
“Twenty years have passed since the horrific attacks of September 11th that claimed the lives of nearly 3,000 people, and the horrors of that day still remain seared in the memories of so many Americans,” said Senator King. “I can recall clear as day my moment of realization that the first plane crashing into the tower was an attack, not an accident. I will never forget the fear and uncertainty of wondering which target was next. I remember the pit of despair upon learning that my son, who worked near the World Trade Center, was missing; I remember the relief and joy I felt upon learning that he was safe; and I remember the heartbreak of knowing that thousands of families across America would not receive the same good news.
“The victims of these attacks were everyday people, guilty of no crime other than going about their daily business in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were the victims of an evil few, who sacrificed innocent lives in an effort to attack America’s values. But they had a larger goal in mind on that day – to intimidate each and every American, and drive us apart from one another. On that front, they failed mightily – because in the painful days that followed, the best of America shone through the darkness.
“We saw our heroic first responders rushing towards burning buildings to save lives – including many who traveled from far and wide to aid to their fellow citizens during a time of need. We saw resilience, defiance, and unity as Americans chose bravery over fear and love over hatred. In the face of unknown peril, we embraced the ideals that make our nation so special. We also saw the true tolerance of America in action, as our President visited a Mosque and made clear to the rest of the world that our nation’s diversity is our strength, and we knew terrorists were not religious martyrs – but evil murderers. Our unified message today, as it was then, is that we will remain vigilant and relentless in pursuing those who would try to follow in their footsteps or enable them to do our nation harm.
“Twenty years later, we’re in the midst of another crisis – this time, a public health pandemic. Unfortunately, at this juncture, it seems that our nation’s divisions have been inflamed rather than set aside; instead of pulling us together, this pandemic has too often pushed us apart. On this solemn day, as we remind ourselves to “never forget” the events of September 11th, we must also remind ourselves how we responded – with solidarity, resilience, desire to understand, and kindness for the health and well-being of our neighbors. We knew, deep down, that none of our differences meant more than our shared identity as Americans. As we remember those that we lost on this tragic day, let us honor them by recommitting ourselves to the values they cherished and devoting ourselves to examining how to protect one another from another global threat.”