Twenty-one years ago, on September 11, 2001, our nation was forever changed.
In an instant, our perception of safety and comfort on American soil was shattered.
There are very few moments quite like 9/11 in our history: where we, together as a country, experienced collective feelings of terror and despair matched with hope and an enduring commitment to freedom.
Over two decades later, we still mourn the nearly 3,000 Americans who we lost too soon, and grieve alongside their families.
We honor the first-responders, who rushed toward danger to selflessly save others.
And we remember the everyday Americans who turned into heroes, both on 9/11 and in the days after.
Out of the ashes, our nation came together, meeting al-Qaeda’s cruelty with unity, strength, and fortitude.
For 20 years, countless men and women in uniform, including the 150 U.S. Iowa Army National Guard soldiers I led into Operation Iraqi Freedom – took the fight to the terrorists, and prevented another attack on the homeland.
And despite last year’s chaotic and disgraceful withdrawal from Afghanistan, our nation is forever grateful and indebted to these patriots, and their families.
America, together, in the wake of 9/11, we pledged to never forget … that is our solemn obligation.