WASHINGTON (KIFI)-U.S. Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) issued the following statement on the twentieth anniversary of the Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“Two decades ago today, a group of al-Qaeda terrorists coordinated four deliberate attacks in the United States, killing thousands of innocent Americans, including Idahoans Brady Kay Howell, of Sugar City, and Ronald J. Vauk, of Nampa.
“In the ensuing days, Americans turned horror and grief into greatness. We stood resolute in our efforts to rebuild together and to mourn our many losses. We heard stories of bravery on United Airlines Flight 93 and within the flames of the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon. Many individuals simply doing their jobs--firemen, police officers, Emergency Medical Services professionals, and volunteers--worked to recover as many victims from Ground Zero as possible. We cared for neighbors, loved ones, and strangers alike. We lifted each other up while an external enemy sought to tear us down.
“Thousands of American service members in the 20 years since have fought against terrorism and extremist threats across the globe. They have faced unfathomable danger to keep Americans safe and to protect our overall national security. They have done so with valor, courage, and distinction. Many lost their lives while serving our country, others live with visible and debilitating injuries, and many more continue to suffer unimaginable pain from invisible wounds.
“The United States recently completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Thirteen courageous, young servicemembers were killed in a terrorist attack while conducting operations to evacuate innocent American civilians and Afghan allies from the country. Although we have withdrawn from a country laden with terrorist activities and individuals, we cannot let up on our commitment to thwart terror internationally. Terrorism is a global scourge on freedom and democracy, and I remain committed to policies at the federal level that will prevent horrors like this from happening again.
“I will never forget the lives lost on that dark day two decades ago and in the years since. I continue to pray for those affected by the attacks that day as well as for the servicemembers killed in action and their loved ones, those still suffering here at home, and the safety of those continuing to risk their lives to keep Americans and our nation safe.”
U.S. Senator Jim Risch (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also released a statement marking twenty years since the September 11 terrorist attacks.
“Today’s anniversary of the horrific attacks on our homeland on September 11, 2001 is especially solemn. Twenty years later, it is still hard to comprehend these acts of pure evil. Vicki and I continue to mourn the lives lost as a result of those attacks. We owe our deepest thanks to our men and women in uniform, and their families who answered our nation's call, and we honor those who have given their lives in the service of our nation.
“I have always supported efforts to responsibly end the war in Afghanistan in a way that would keep Americans safe, but I have grave concerns that President Biden’s disastrous pullout from Afghanistan will erase twenty years of hard-fought gains in the war on terror and put us at great risk once again.
“In conversations with the administration, I have repeatedly asked for a plan to maintain our counterterrorism priorities, but so far I have received no answers.
“The most fitting way to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 is to never let anything like that happen again. We must not allow terrorism to gain a foothold once more.”