tv U.S. Senate Senators on 911 Changes Since Terrorist Attacks CSPAN September 11, 2019 7:16pm-8:01pm EDT
may he bless the victims of september 11 and their families. and may he continue to bless the united states of america. >> before i begin i would like to take ,it moment to remember the thousands of innocent lives lost 18 years ago today. to think first responders who so bravely sacrificed their lives in the service of others. september 11 is a day that will always way heavily upon our nation. but it's also a day that shows the strength and resiliency of the american people. in response to tragedy we thought beyond our differences and came together as a country. that's a lesson we must never forget. >> senator from indiana. >> i rise today to honor those who lost their lives tragically 18 years ago. and to make sure we esnever
beforget what happened then. i vividly remember that morning in my own office in jasper indiana. i didn't have a tv, somebody there brought it up on the internet. the second plane flew into the building. never forget that image because we didn't know what happened with the first one. we knew what happened with the second. senator rick scott and i recently over the summer break took a trip to israel. all of that that went into preparedness the evil that lurks around the world. i see it again up close to where it always makes you wonder how can you live like that? how can you be prepared when you know they are always individuals countries out there just like in 1941 just like in 2001. imagine living in a country
where your entire border surrounded by fence or wall to keep people out in the really tough places there is another barrier. in the really tough places a dirt berm. that drove home again how important it is to be prepared and to always be strong when it comes to defending his country, the liberty and freedoms that we all enjoy every day. never thought it can happen in 1941, didn't think it could happen in 2001, it can happen again because that's the world we live within. when i came here as a us senator i always knew the most important thing there somebody should do his foster defense and security of this country and when you see it slip so precariously over the last few years and thank goodness we built it back up to a level that makes sense.
it's because we always need to be repaired. if we are going to truly honor all the lives that were lost in 1941, 2001, inevitably down the road we need to be strong, we need to be prepared and we always need to be aware of the fact that we are blessed, just like the state of israel is blessed, despite all of esthat, the thriving economy they live with that danger every day, they find a way to get through it. let us never let our guard down or drop defenses here, our freedom and our liberties depend upon it. i yield the floor. >> mr. president. >> edsenator from missouri. >> my friend from indiana and others have pointed out today,
this is the day that americans remember as a day of unique tragedy earlier today on the senate floor we had a moment of silence in the middle of a series of vote the senate floor was full of members who paused to think about what had happened that day. almost every american alive today knows where they were that morning. it was a beautiful clear morning just like this morning was. if you are too young to remember where you were that morning it's a likelihood your parents told you where you were that morning. it was a seminal moment in changed how we look at so many things in our country. today we reflect where we were and the changes that occurred after that. i was working in this building on the other side of the building as a member of the house 18 years ago and i shared with capitol police today my appreciation for what they do every day.
on this day every year i remember being one of the last people to leave this building as the capitol police are working hard to get people out. a sense that the plane was coming here and was going to either hit the white house or the i remember walking out of the door and i really was among the last to leave the building here that day but i remember looking in the eyes of the capitol police woman who was still at the door and realizing that i was going to be out if the building was a target i was quickly going to be somewhere else. she was still going to be here until those who worked with us and work to protect us every day were assured that everybody that could possibly be found and gotten out of the building was already gone. we clearly understand the world is a dangerous place. we just had a discussion this
week a foreign-policy discussion about whether in the country that really had served as a haven for al qaeda what would happen if we totally left that country back to the taliban and would it become a haven again? and almost certainly think it would. we really need to think about a number of things. one is, so many people do so much to protect us all the time. we have thousands of americans in uniform and in the intelligence community that every day spend their time being sure we are as safe as we can be and that our freedoms are secure. they are deployed overseas, fighting terrorist group like isis or the remnants of al qaeda. and they are working here to spot homegrown terrorists. they are doing what they can to find what somebody might be
talking about or what somebody might be bringing across the border. that would be of danger and senator o and i were at the border last week and one of the things we talked about were not only the drugs coming over the border but the other things coming over the border designed to harm us and who we are and how we live. in st. louis missouri and arnold missouri we have the second biggest installation of the national geospatial agency constantly looking at the information that is out there looking all over the world to see if there is activity in places that there wouldn't be b activity but if there was activity it would likely be activity that would be designed to harm us or others in the world. we need to understand that that and we also need to understand that in the society we live in there is never a perfect security and perfect freedom at the same time. we worked really hard not to allow ourselves to lose the freedom we cherish in return
for the security we'd like to have. we also need to remember those people that respond. the first responders that ran toward the tragedy on 9/11 as others were able to run away from the tragedy, passing each other many of those first responders became numbered among the 3000 americans that died that day. just last month the president signed into law the national urban search and rescue parity act that allows federal and employees to be active participants in urban search and rescue teams from a natural disaster or man-made disaster. third thing we need to keep in mind is how important it is we honor and care for the victims and the heroes among us. those that ran toward the tragedy, those they left
behind. people who still suffer today because of what happened to them that day. that likely is not those people that benefit from the victims compensation fund for people staying behind to help others rushing forward to help others. we don't want to become afraid to be the great diverse society we have become. we don't want to become a society where we allow the terrorists to win by taking our nfreedoms away but this is an important time for us to think of those freedoms for those who defend those freedoms for those who rush to the scene of danger when we have danger and for those who try to do everything they can to minimize that. today we grieve, we pray, we remember, we resolve that we will continue to be vigilant against attack and unafraid of defending who we are. with that, mr. president, i
yield the floor. >> mr. president. >> senator from iowa. >> mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the vote series began following the remarks of senators dave collins langford and cotton. >> without objection. >> mr. president, 18 years ago on a bright clear skies september morning, without warning, our nation was attacked. many of us probably remember where we were on that horrible day. i had that morning off, i was at home with my nearly two-year-old daughter. we did it have the tv on, we had a couple of gentlemen at the house. i was getting a brand-new
furnace. what would be a couple hour installation turned into an all day event as those men would take time off from installing our new furnace to run into the other room so we could see what was going on on the television. i had two phone calls that morning the first was early it was from a neighbor and she said, joni, do you have the tv on?and i said, no i don't, what's going on? she said joni, you need to turn the tv on. so i did. i saw the horrible events unfolding right in front of us. the second phone call i got was from my iowa army national guard unit. captain ernst, doing 100% accountability check.
we need you to stay by the phone all day so we know how we can get a hold of you. 100% accountability. it was an experience many of us had never felt before. the terrifying shock of knowing that the country we love and our fellow americans were under attack, mr. president, our adversaries sought to tear us apart by their cowardly act. but instead, they brought us together as americans. those terrible moments we also saw the very very best of our country. the firefighters, police officers, first responders and ordinary citizens who courageously put their lives on the line to save countless
others. on that day as individuals and as a nation we came together in a unique way. and we also made a pledge to never forget. to never forget the nearly 3000 victims and the families that they left behind. to never forget the heroism of first responders and those everyday men and women who selflessly acted to save lives. to never forget the importance of defending our homeland and the great democratic vegetables that we stand for. it's a pledge i personally take very seriously and it's why i've organized this event from my colleagues to come to the floor today and to share their memories and thoughts on today that 18th anniversary of the september 11 terrorist attacks.
it's why i work so hard to make sure armed forces have the technology, support, and resources they need to defend our nation from threats both here at home and abroad. that's why i cosponsored and hope to finally get signed into law a permanent reauthorization of the september 11 victims compensation fund. keeping our nation's promise to support first responders who continue to sacrifice their health and even their lives, from their wwork in post-9/11 recovery efforts. it's why we should never ever take our nation and our freedoms for granted. mr. president, i am just one of the millions of americans keeping the promise to never forget. in fact, today back home in
iowa there are countless folks that are honoring that bow in their own thoughtful way. many years today the anniversary of a day of service performing acts of kindness throughout iowa. others come together with their communities to honor and remember those who were lost. it's really wonderful to see all the way folks are doing that from walking in the 9/11 march to the capital in aa and to visiting the 9/11 never forget mobile exhibit currently at the clay county fair to participating in the annual 9/11 moment of silence motorcycle ride in mason city. for some of our fellow iowans today will be spent remembering loved ones lost in the attack. folks like newton, jean cleary,
whose husband loving and good-natured, good-humored god-fearing giant of a man who never came home from a fateful business trip to the world trade center 18 years ago. for nearly 2 decades jean has been on a crusade to keep joe's memory alive she helps raise funds for newton's very own 9/11 memorial. she speaks to local students educating them about the events of that day. 18 years ago. she's given her testimony all over iowa and for folks in iowa, they probably seen her driving across the state she is a pretty special license which which reads nvr 4gt.
today and every day iowans are keeping that sacred promise. we will always remember jim cleary and the nearly 3000 others who have lost their lives that tragic day. we will always honor the heroes whose selfless sacrifice and saved countless lives. we will always rise up to defend our nation and its citizens. we will never forget. that is our sacred promise. thank you mr. president. i yield the floor. >> mr. president. >> senator from montana. >> 18 years ago today americans with witnessed what evil looks like. 18 years ago today americans
witnessed the watch of innocent life 18 years ago today americans witnessed acts of cowardice. today montanans and americans across our country are taking time to reflect upon the horrific acts of 9/11. today we take time to remember the thousands of lives lost on that horrible day. we remember the daughters who lost mothers. sons who lost fathers. loved ones and friends and the communities that were broken by these tragedies. i know i speak for most of us when i say that we remember that day like it was yesterday. that fateful morning i was in n
bozeman montana. i typically like to get an early start at work. we are two hours ahead of eastern time so it was early in the morning. my wife cindy called me, i was at my desk, i was working for cloud computing software company starting today. cindy called me, she said it's really strange news there has been a plane that has hit one of the world trade center towers. i think many of us at that time thought it was a small private plane, kind of a strange bit of news coming out that morning. then as the minutes went by, we started finding out what was really going on that it wasn't a small plane. it wasn't an accident. it was a 767 loaded with fuel
because it was attempting to make a journey across our country from boston to the weste coast. in the images of the planes crashing into the twin towers is one i will never forget. it's one that will never stop hurting. i remember after that and it was confirmed it was a commercial aircraft, very quickly the speculation began that this was a premeditated terror attack. moments like that you want to be with your loved ones and i quietly closed the door to my office and drove home to be with my wife and be with family as we watch the rest of the horrible day unfold. 2977 innocent americans lost their lives. 2977 innocent americans didn't return home that day. i think it's important to think
about every single human life that was lost and the pain of the families that remember that day today when they lost their loved ones. the pain is very real yet again today. this was a lslaughter of our fellow americans that shook our nation to its very core. yet in the face of extreme adversity, we are a nation that came together and we carried on i think about those moments when our churches, cathedrals, were filled with americans in prayer. reflecting upon what had happened. today we honor and remember the almost 3000 people who died that september morning. we remember the survivors those first responders and the firefighters the friends and family to those we lost. while we take time to remember today, we also reflect on who we are as a nation.
as americans we are strong, we are resilient, after the 9/11 attack responded with strength and we strengthened the homeland. and we are most grateful to those who have served and are serving today and our armed forces. more recently over the last year and last december i flew to afghanistan, we carried 50 pounds of montana beef jerky to deliver to the 4/95 combat sustained support battalion at the montana army national guard. deployed over in afghanistan protecting us. as i received the brief that day, reminded yet again that this war coming against terrorism exists this very moment. i can tell you that because of the men and women who serve in our armed forces and intelligence and law enforcement across our nation,
it's because of them that we are able to stand here today without another terror attack like we saw in 9/11. i received a brief in afghanistan in december, that border between afghanistan and pakistan, there are plots being created and attempted to hit the home line again if it were not for those brave men and women, many special forces spent time with scott miller who is had a career in special forces, who is overseeing the operations there. grateful that they continue to remain vigilant in this fight against global terrorism. america's enemies want us to be afraid. here in america we don't give up. when america is strong, so are our allies. we must remain vigilant to ensure we maintain that the reagan doctrine of peace through strength. the world will never forget
what happened on this day 18 years ago. despite the political differences and divisions we have across our country and the city, we must always remember that we are all in this together. and americans are strong when we are united. there is no force of evil or terror that will ever overcome who will lead to true they should of a free and united people. we ask that god continue to bless our fighting men and women and may god continue to bless the united states of america. thank you mr. president, i yield back. >> mr. president. >> senator from arkansas. >> september 11 is a solemn anniversary. 18 years later we still remember the toll from that terrible day. nearly 3000 americans lost their lives in the attacks on the twin towers, the pentagon, the united flight 93. but every american experienced
the pain of loss that day. just as we mourn the innocent lives lost, we also remember the heroism of our first responders. who ran toward danger and death to help their fellow americans. out of the ashes of that terrible tragedy arose the strength and unity that the whole world came to admire. september 11 altered the course of our nation's history and a blaze of fire and smoke and for so many americans, it altered the course of our lives. deployed overseas just weeks later and remain in the fight today. so many americans join them in listening to the nation. young kids who witnessed firefighters rush into the burning towers, grew up and themselves joined units with old-fashioned names like engine and letter.
generation of intelligence officers dedicated themselves to preventing another 9/11 and they have and they still do. our lives continue to be altered because the consequences of september 11 us. still with the attacks of 18 years ago continue to claim new victims. as first responders and others succumbed to injuries and illnesses that trace back to that morning. the al qaeda terrorists who attacked us or bloody yet undefeated while the taliban terrorists who gave safe haven threatened to regain control in afghanistan. most tragic of all our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines continue to sfall in th line of duty and defense of our country. just last week army sergeant first class ellis a bear to
ortiz was killed on the battlefield in afghanistan. september 11 is his story too. the story of valor and sacrifice. the story of september 11 continues to unfold. many years after the fact. strengthen our resolve to continue fighting the enemies of freedom and may we never ever forget. i yield the floor. >> mr. president. >> senator from oklahoma. >> 18 years ago today at my office in oklahoma city a fellow staff member poked her head into the office and said to me, there was a freak accident that happened in new york city, a plane flew into the world trade center. she went down the hallway and
pulled in a rolling cart the younger generation will have no idea what that is. a rolling cart with the tv on top of it and we plug it in and watched atit. as the second plane flew in and both of us stood there sad thinking, that's no accident. that's murder on a massive scale and terror like i've never witnessed with my own eyes. what i didn't know it at that moment how many thousands of lives would be effective and how much our nation would be changed. that morning 18 years ago seven oklahomans died. but our nation was forever changed. common terms we think about today like tsa or terror watch list or department of homeland security or low entry or body scanners the patriot act, those didn't exist on september 10, 2001. they will all come since then.
as our nation learns how to be more security learns how to engage and has learned a painful lesson in what people think in an isolated village in a remote country what they think matters to us. because what they may carry out, if left alone and ignored, could kill our family members and our fellow americans. almost 3000 americans died that day. but since that time period, we have pushed back not against the people of afghanistan or the people of iraq. not against muslims or fate, against a specific ideology that intensely hates the freedom of america and who intentionally plans to kill americans they've never met.
we learned a new ideology as a nation today. that we have to not only take it seriously but that we must not wait until they carry out a fight. if they are planning it and preparing it, if they have the capability, we should assume they are actually going to do it. and since that time period, american men and women have taken the fight of people who want to come kill more americans. but it's also been a great cost of american blood and treasure. 4432 americans have died in iraq. 2353 americans have died in afghanistan. 51 of those are my fellow oklahomans in afghanistan. 72 of those my fellow oklahomans in iraq. today i pulled out of my closet
a specific high that i rarely wear. it was a tie given to me by goldstar life who never ever wanted to be a goldstar way. she just wanted to be the wife of chris horton. who she intensely loved. who went to afghanistan to serve his country in the oklahoma national guard and died for our freedom. two years later she handed me this tie and said, he hated wearing ties but you have to wear them all the time. just remember him. we as americans will not forget. and we have not forgotten. they are flags all over america today just to remember there are moms and dads that really
hug their kids type this morning before they left for school and the kids didn't even know why. they just did. and there are places that are gathering to be able to pray for peace because as a nation we are a nation of peace and we have no desire for war, in fact, we detest the pain and penalty and blood and loss of war. we have no desire to be at war across the world. it came to us and we look forward to the day when the guns are silent again. in this finally cconcludes in time of peace can be restored again. today though we are just a nation remembering and praying for the time of peace that will come. and telling families and goldstar families families that have sent their loves one around the world and places they've never seen before we've
not forgotten and we are grateful that we serve together as a nation. with that i yield back. >> mr. president. >> senator from illinois. >> mr. president, let me say at the outset, the sentiments have been expressed by the senator of oklahoma and her colleagues on the floor started with a moment of silence until this last speech and remembering the historic american significance of september 11. the fact that both political parties came together on the floor shows there is hope that when it comes to this nation and its values and what brings us together is a powerful force and today it's a force of memory the force of promise and the force of the future of this country. i want to salute my colleagues particularly my friend from oklahoma for his moving statement about families in his state touched by the tragedy. >> senator from maine.>> mr. president.
earlier today we paused and commemorated those who lost their lives on september 11 2001. 18 years have passed hebut the memory of that day remains as vivid as if it were yesterday. we each have our own recollection of where we were and what we were doing as the horrifying terrorist attacks on our country began to unfold. i remember having the television on and watching a report that a plane originally reported as a small plane had struck one of the twin towers. i then, shortly thereafter, saw the second aircraft strike the
world trade center. it was then that i knew that our country was under attack. i told my staff to stay away from the capital building. because i feared that it too could be a target. today we all still share the powerful emotions of shock and anger and grief. i was worried, not only about my staff, those in the building, but also staff members that i had who were on their way back from portland maine, which turns out to be where some of the terrorists began their journey of death and destruction that day. on the evening of that terrible day, members of congress
gathered together on the steps of the u.s. capital with tears in our eyes and sorrow in our hearts together we saying, god bless america. the emotions of shock, anger, and grief, were joined by unity, resolve, and patriotism. that sense that swept over us as we say was a source of strength and the challenges that we faced in the fight against terrorism. so many were killed that horrific day. in my state of maine we remember robert and jackie norton of blueback, a devoted retired couple who boarded flight 11 to celebrate his
son's wedding on the west coast. we remember james rowe of portland, an army veteran and devoted father on his way to a business meeting in california. we remember robert schlagel, kewho was celebrating his recen promotion to the rank of commander in the united states navy and was still settling in to his new office at the pentagon when the plane struck. we remember stephen ward who was working on the 101st floor of the north tower that terrible morning. under this loan anniversary we join all americans in remembering the nearly 3000 people who lost their lives
that day. lives of accomplishment, contribution and promise. each loss leaves the wounded hearts of families and friends that can never be fully healed. and we honor the heroes of that day. we still are moved by this selfless courage of men and women on flight 93 who wrestled that plane to the ground in pennsylvania. sacrificing their lives so that others might live. we are inspired by the firefighters, ems personnel and lease officers at the world trade center who continued to climb upward to rescue those who were in peril even as the twin towers were tumbling down.
. the new york city fire department alone was 343 firefighters who responded to the attacks. we pay tribute today and every day to the first responders, the military personnel, the civilians who ravaged into the smoke and flames at the pentagon to lead others to safety. we express our gratitude to those who have given so much to defend our nation against terrorism. the men and women of our armed forces. while millions of americans watched in horror as the tragedy unfolded on that terrible day thousands of
courageous first responders who rushed to the world trade center who rushed to that field in pennsylvania. who rushed to the pentagon to help search for victims and to help bring anyone they could to safety still inspires us. they put themselves in eminent danger to save the lives of others. and later on years later we learned that the toxic dust and debris that many were exposed to have caused chronic illnesses. the overwhelming bipartisan vote in the senate in july to reauthorize permanently in the
9/11 victims compensation fund insured that those first responders who risked their lives to save their fellow americans will always be supported and there illnesses treated. september 11 was a day of personal tragedy for so many families. it was also an attack on the united states of america and an assault on civilization. we must never forget what was lost and what remains at stake. we must continue our pledge, the pledge that we made that horrific day to do all that we can to prevent future attacks.
the fundamental obligation of government is to protect its people. since september 11 2001 we have done much to meet that obligation. but more work remains. in the aftermath of those attacks, former senator from connecticut joe lieberman and i as the leaders of the senate homeland security committee worked in a bipartisan way with the leaders of the 9/11 commission and the families of those who were lost to terrorist attacks on that day. two passed the most sweeping reform of our intelligence community since world war ii. it is significant that the
intelligence reform and care of prevention act passed the senate by a vote of 96 ãtwo. and that with the hundreds of tyamendments that were consider not a single one was decided by a partyline vote. in what seemed like a moment september 11 2001 was transformed from a day like any other into one that forever will stand alone. the lost we relived reminds those of the value of all we must protect. the heroism reminds us of the on comparable spirit of the american people. our accomplishments remind us that that can meet any challenge.