As we arrive at the 20th anniversary of 9/11, today is first and foremost a day for remembrance and mourning. The events of September 11th—and the subsequent 20 years of war it wrought—bring up a range of emotions that are difficult to put into words. From the two towers, to the Pentagon, to Flight 93, our hearts extend to those impacted by the loss of loved ones on that day, and we join them in honoring their memories.
Today is a day to acknowledge the sacrifice thousands of Americans made both during and after the events of 9/11. We honor the emergency response workers, firefighters, medical staff, and others who risked their lives to save their fellow Americans, and we honor those who—like many of our members—served in the armed forces in the following years to protect our home.
As we open our hearts to our fellow Americans, today must also be a day to acknowledge the tragedy and trauma experienced by the people of Afghanistan. Though our nation’s longest war is finally over, we must not forget the past 20 years of unimaginable tragedy in Afghanistan. Yes, today is a day of remembrance, but it’s also a day to acknowledge our role in that tragedy—as well as our responsibility to evacuate and support Afghan refugees in such a crucial moment as this.
Now, we have the opportunity—and the responsibility—to analyze our military’s role in 20 years of violence and destruction in Afghanistan and to transform our foreign policy to one that truly centers people, not pocketbooks or political interests.
Today is one to stand together as a nation. It’s one to remember those we lost on 9/11 and the 20 years that followed, but also reimagine what the next 20 years may hold. Let us pray—and let us act—to ensure they’re 20 years of peace.
Team Common Defense