Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor earlier this afternoon in support of a resolution recognizing the attacks of September 11, 2001, remembering the sacrifice of those who died and resolving to renew our devotion to the universal ideals that make our nation great. The resolution was approved by the House by a vote of 416 to 0.
“Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I thank Congressman Ackerman and Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen for bringing this opportunity to the floor for us to speak about the unspeakable horror of 9/11.
“When we talk about this subject, Mr. Speaker, we are treading on sacred ground. A ground we never thought we would see in our country. But as Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen said, it defined us -- how we dealt with it, how we carry on after it. One of the goals of the terrorists is to instill fear. For not only do they take lives and try to destroy a community, they also instill fear as to how we will act upon the challenges that we have as we go forward. That did not happen with 9/11. The American people rallied in a way that removed all doubt that we would not suffer that consequence.
“But it is the families of 9/11 who made the biggest sacrifice -- that is self-evident. When they turned their grief into action, working with the 9/11 Commission to help ensure that this does not happen again, they did a great service to our country.
“In just a few moments, in the Capitol, we will unveil a marker of bravery to recall the sacrifices, in particular, of the men and women of United Airlines Flight 93 who died in rural Pennsylvania. We gather to honor their families who will be with us, and this is the day that they have chosen for that, and to ensure that we never forget their heroic deeds, their bravery, and the sacrifices of those individuals. They made a decision in that flight not to fly into Washington D.C., perhaps, into this Capitol. Again, to those families that we owe so much, whether it was in rural Pennsylvania, in the Pentagon, or in New York at the Twin Towers.
“Following that plaque ceremony, we will go to Statuary Hall, where leaders of both parties in both Houses of Congress will gather to recognize the heroes of 9/11. The firefighters and first responders, the rescue-workers and all who perished on Flight 93, in the Pentagon, and the World Trade Center on that terrible morning.
“It is in their names that we mark this day. It is in the memory of those who died that we, in the words of this resolution, ‘renew our devotion to the universal ideals that make this nation great: freedom, pluralism, equality, and the rule of law.'
“It is their voices that remind us not just of images of destruction and despair, but of the unity we all felt in the wake of the attacks; and of our common humanity and shared strength; of our potential to move forward as one community, one nation.
“May we take inspiration from the memories of the heroes of 9/11. May this resolution rekindle the spirit of service and sacrifice among all Americans. May God continue to bless the United States of America.”