Generations of Americans remember where they were on Sept. 11, 2001, a day our nation changed forever.
I was driving to a meeting in Gurdon and listening to the radio when I heard the news that we were under attack. When I arrived at the meeting, attended by Americans from all over, including New York City, we watched the TV in disbelief and horror as the events unfolded. It's been 22 years since that tragic day.
The radical terrorists who attacked our nation did so with the intention of striking pain and destroying American values. They could have never anticipated how the American people would unite in strength to persevere. What unfolded in the hours, weeks, and years following the tragic events of 9/11 is a steadfast reminder that American resiliency is unmatched.
Rather than yielding to the violence, Americans bravely stood up and ran into the face of danger to help their fellow citizens. Countless police officers, firefighters, and other first responders risked their lives, many of whom paid the ultimate sacrifice, to save those of others. Instead of backing down to fear, thousands of servicemen and women answered their call to protect freedom in the years following the attack in the Global War on Terrorism. From every walk of life, Americans offered what they could to defend American values, rebuild our cities, and ensure that we emerged as a united nation stronger than ever. The response to the vicious attacks of terrorism was swift and defiant, encapsulating the resilience of the American spirit.
Sept. 11 is now recognized as National Day of Service and Remembrance, an opportunity for us to come together as Americans and reflect on this solemn anniversary through service. In tribute to the lives lost and forever altered by 9/11, I encourage all Arkansans and Americans to find ways to display patriotism and unity through acts of service in their communities.
May we always remember the 2,977 innocent victims of 9/11 who lost their lives, share in the grief of their loved ones, and forever find ways to honor those who risked their lives to fight for the American values terrorists sought to destroy 22 years ago.
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman represents the 4th Congressional District.