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Congresswoman Ashley Hinson (IA-01) released the following message on the 20th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

We all remember where we were on September 11th, 2001. I was a college student at the time. My roommate’s mom called and told us to turn on the news because a plane had just crashed into the World Trade Center.

I remember thinking it had to have been a terrible accident. And I remember the pit in my stomach when it became clear that this was a deliberate attack against Americans, on our own soil.

It didn’t feel real — we will never forget the gut-wrenching images of the planes crashing into the towers, of people jumping out of burning buildings, and of the desperate searching through piles of rubble. In a matter of a few hours, our nation was changed forever.

The days, weeks, and months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks were some of the darkest in our history. But the initial fear and shock that gripped our country was quickly transformed into unrelenting and fierce patriotism—Americans rallied around our flag and our freedoms that had come under attack.

I am so thankful to the many brave men and women who answered the call to serve and fought for our country in the Global War on Terror. Over the last twenty years, thousands of Americans sacrificed life and limb to keep terrorism off our shores and to provide us all with the peace of mind that there would never be another attack like 9/11. In the last month alone, 13 American service members laid down their lives to help Americans escape the Taliban, including Corporal Daegan William-Tyeler Page of Red Oak, Iowa.

Amid the heart-wrenching chaos in Afghanistan, I know that many veterans and Gold Star Families are questioning what they gave for our nation and why they gave it. To anyone asking these questions right now: your service was not in vain. It told the world that Americans are strong, resilient, and serious about protecting freedom. Our nation is indebted to all who have served our country in Afghanistan and fought in the Global War on Terror, both over the last twenty years and over the last several weeks.

On the 20th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, we are grappling with emerging security threats from new and old terrorist groups alike. While there are many questions facing our nation right now, there is no question about this: America is the greatest country in the world. We have the toughest military in the world when its capabilities are unleashed. And there is nothing—no force of evil or terrorism—that will ever stand a chance against us when we stand united.

God Bless our troops and God Bless America. We will never forget.

Author: Ashley Hinson