Cantwell Statement on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) released the following statement on the tenth anniversary of 9/11:

“On this day ten years ago, the world stopped. We watched as our nation was attacked. It was an assault on the values and freedoms that all Americans hold dear.

“But, for all the destruction it caused, the attacks of 9/11 failed to accomplish what our enemies wanted. Instead of pulling our nation apart, it brought us closer together. Across Washington state and across our nation, Americans came together to donate to relief efforts, to give blood, and to lend a hand to the victims of this tragedy. Washington state first responders traveled to Ground Zero to help in relief efforts, and Washington state troops defended our freedom overseas.

“Ten years later, we remember the lives of those who were lost on September 11, and extend our deepest sympathies to their friends and families. We also honor the heroism and sacrifice of those who defend our freedom every day.

“This May, the long wait from 2001 ended with the death of Osama Bin Laden. It was a major step forward in the fight against terrorism. All Americans give thanks to the military and intelligence community, who brought the 9/11 mastermind to justice.

“Over the past ten years, we have come a long way in building up our nation’s homeland security. We listened to the 9/11 Commission’s call to create a Department of Homeland Security. In 2004, we closed the loophole in the U.S. Visa Waiver Program that allowed the Millennium Bomber into the country. And we’ve fought to strengthen port security in Washington state and across our country.

“But there is still work to do. I will continue to fight for the full implementation of the 9/11 Commission’s recommendations. That means making additional spectrum available for our first-responders to allow them to speak with each other over their radios and be able to exchange data. This isn’t just a national problem. In Washington state, federal and local emergency responders and law enforcement agencies operate on different radio frequencies. I’m pushing to make sure that in a crisis, these officials on the frontlines will be able to seamlessly communicate with each other.

“We showed the strength and resilience of our nation on September 11. It was evident in the emergency responders who risked their lives running into the smoldering World Trade Center towers to save as many people as they could. It was on display through the actions of the brave passengers on United Flight 93, who sacrificed their own lives in order to save others. And it was shown through the actions of countless others who acted in the face of danger that fateful day to help others, and in the days, weeks and months following to help our nation recover from the worst attack on our nation’s soil since Pearl Harbor.”