Bakersfield Observed: Ten Years After 9-11, The Spirit And Resilience Of America Still Lives
Ten years ago, our nation was struck by the worst terrorist attack ever to be carried out on American soil. Over three thousand Americans were killed. I was with my wife Judy getting our kids ready for school when I heard that an airliner had struck one of the twin towers, and I remember the shock as news of the continued assault on our land came cross the wires. It's hard to believe it's been a decade since that day, but I will never forget the response of the men, women and children in our community and in every community across the nation. Even our own first responders from Kern County flew to Washington to help at the Pentagon.
As the dust of disbelief settled, the American people came together in solidarity. Men and women from every walk of life stood united as Americans to make it abundantly clear to the cowardly terrorists who waged this deliberate assault on our nation and way of life that we would not be intimidated. With American flags waving in front yards across the country, we immediately resolved that we would rise together from the ashes and reaffirm our rights as Americans to live, vote and worship as we please.
After the attacks, brave young people from around our district, from Paso Robles to Bakersfield to Ridgecrest to Lancaster, answered the all to serve a half a world away in the name of freedom. These young people have sacrificed their time, sweat and blood – and 32 local service members have given their lives – so that you and I can wake up each day and be free. I want the men and women in our military and their families to know that we will be forever grateful, and I promise to fight to ensure your sacrifice is never forgotten.
This September 11th marks the ten-year anniversary of the attacks and has been declared a National Day of Service. Volunteerism has never been lacking in our communities, and this 9/11 is another opportunity for us to show the solidarity Americans have for our way of life. I encourage everyone to seek out opportunities to give back this upcoming Sunday whether through your house of worship, a local charity, visiting veterans in your local community or donating blood to save a life
Even now, the scars of that terrible day remain, but so does the resilience, hope and courage of the American people. It was just four months ago that news of the death of Osama Bin Laden drove scores of Americans of varying races and religions to the gates of the White House with American flags to celebrate that the mastermind of the September 11th attacks had finally been brought to justice. As we reflect on the ten-year anniversary, let us never forgot what makes our nation so special. We are a nation founded on the principles of freedom and liberty, and we will never give up the fight to keep our country safe and strong for generations to come.