By U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez
Ten years ago we stood witness to history. We remember the twin towers against that cloudless blue September sky… the blue sky turning gray… smoke and ash blanketing the city.
On that day Americans responded, united as one nation. Thousands stood in long lines to give blood, to volunteer. Instinctively, families brought food to firehouses to comfort exhausted firefighters who had put their lives on the line.
On that day, we turned to the comfort of family, friends, and neighbors. We drew closer as a nation, resolved to take a stand and the world stood with us.
I’ll never forget Congressmen standing on the steps of the United States Capitol, joining hands and singing “God Bless America.” We were not Democrats or Republicans that day. We were united as Americans.
Now, 10 years later, we still struggle to fully understand how the events of 9-11 changed the way we live, the way we view the world, and the threats we face. But most of all we remember the 2,974 people who died that day, including 700 from New Jersey who lost their lives. We remember their families and the courage and service of the first responders.
On this 10th anniversary, all of the victims of 9-11 remain in our thoughts and our prayers. To those families who lost a mother, a father, a son or daughter — a sister, a brother, or a friend — we know the passage of time may have helped ease the pain, but the loss has left a void in our hearts.
This year, as all of us in New Jersey and across America stand in solemn remembrance… resolved never to forget, let us also stand as united as we were ten years ago, one nation indivisible.
Let us remember – in the next ten years — the words of Robert Louis Stevenson: “Give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving, one to another…”
Let that be our sincere hope for this nation, and our solemn pledge to those who lost their lives on that fateful day. May God bless them, and God bless America.
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