Denham, who served in the Air Force for 16 years, delivered the following statement on the House Floor to reflect on the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks:
“In the midst of our nation’s pressing economic troubles and political disputes, let us all pause for a minute to take a moment to reflect on the foundational American principles of freedom and human dignity. Not long ago, these principles were under assault.
“Just ten years ago, Americans experienced one of the most horrific attacks in the Western world. On the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks let us remember the great heroism that came out of this horrible tragedy—the brave first responders who gave their lives to save others, the men and women that serve in our police and fire departments, the passengers on United Flight 93 whose extraordinary actions prevented the killing of even more of our citizens. Let us remember the servicemen and women who stepped up to protect our country and have continued to put their lives on the line for the past 10 years to protect our country from the wars that ensued. And the millions of Americans who put their differences aside and stood united as one.
“We can all remember what we felt that day, and where we were. I was traveling away from my family. My daughter was three years old at the time. I can remember the disbelief as I saw what was happening on TV before my eyes. The sorrow I felt for the pain you could see on the faces of those individuals that were wondering whether their family was safe when they went to work that day. The fear that I had as a father and as a husband away from my family, not knowing what was happening in my home state, or to my kids. And then the anger that set in. After I found out my family was safe, the anger that I felt that terrorists would attack our great nation. And then the pride that I felt as America came together, united; the strength of a great nation, understanding that freedom doesn’t come free, that those that attack us, we will fight back, fight back for our freedom and our strength as a nation.
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“I would ask all to remember these stories, of the servicemen and women that are bravely serving our country; to stand proud, to renew their commitment to what happened that day.