Columns

Blaine's Bulletin: Remembering the Heroes of 9/11

Washington, September 11, 2020

Nineteen years ago today at 8:46 A.M., terrorists flew a highjacked plane of Americans into the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. By 10:03 that morning, three more planes had crashed into the South Tower, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, PA. This was not only the most deadly terrorist attack ever to take place on American soil, but one of the most deadly terrorist attacks to ever take place in human history. It was one of the worst days ever in America, but the heroism and pride for this country that came out of it has been remarkable to witness. 

In 2002, President Bush declared September 11th “Patriot Day” to remember the victims lost in the attacks. September 11, 2001 was one of the most painful moments in our country’s history, but the resulting patriotism has been truly incredible. Firefighters, police officers, EMT’s and civilians rushed toward the scenes to help get their fellow Americans to safety. On United Flight 93, the passengers aboard sacrificed their own lives and took down the plane in a field Pennsylvania to prevent the loss of any more innocent American lives. These patriots will be remembered forever for making the ultimate sacrifice for this country and their memories will live on in our nation’s history. 

We lost nearly 3,000 American lives on September 11th but unfortunately the casualties did not stop there. The first responders who rushed into the danger as everyone else was getting out of it have continued to suffer the effects from that tragic day in September 2001. Many of these heroes have passed away and experienced severe heath issues like cancer and respiratory problems caused by the dangerous nature of their rescue work in the days and months following 9/11. To help support these incredible men and women who risked their lives to save others, the September 11th Victims Compensation Fund was created to provide health care and benefits for 9/11 first responders and their families. Last year, I was extremely proud to vote to reauthorize this fund for the next ten years and President Trump promptly signed it into law. We can never repay the brave Americans who put themselves in harm’s way following 9/11 for their sacrifices, but this fund is designed to make life a little bit easier for the survivors and their families. 

September 11th left a terrible mark on our history, but it gave this country the opportunity to show its resiliency and its strength. We lost thousands of innocent Americans that day who will never be forgotten. Now, we honor them each year on Patriot Day, and celebrate this wonderful country who came together to rebuild and honor their memories.