Politicians, political groups suspend campaigning and protests as all mark 9/11
This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Sept. 11, 2012 - As has been the case for the past 11 years, there are no campaign activities planned in Missouri or the region today, in commemoration of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
One of the region’s tea party groups, K&N Patriots, is holding a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. at its usual meeting site in O’Fallon, Mo.
Despite the continued significance of 9/11, only a few public officials or politicians are issuing statements marking the tragedy, opting instead to keep low-profiles. Several candidates have announced that they have suspended TV ads today.
Here’s a list of the statements issued so far:
U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo:
“In the hours after the attacks eleven years ago today, Americans were united, and we met tragedy with resolve. On this day, we remember the remarkable courage of the first responders who ran toward, not away from, the fires, and the heroic service of our troops who stood up and sacrificed to protect our freedoms and bring Osama bin Laden to justice.
"The ultimate legacy of September 11 is the resilience of the American people. Today, my prayers are with the families of the thousands of Americans who died that day, the thousands of men and women in our armed forces who’ve given their lives fighting the wars that followed, and with the tens of thousands of American troops, in Afghanistan and around the world, still making daily sacrifices for our country far from their homes and families.”
U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo.:
“As we mark the anniversary of 9/11, we honor those who lost their lives in the most horrific terrorist attack on American soil in a generation. Today and every day, we owe a great debt of gratitude to our intelligence professionals and to the men and women in uniform who work to keep us safe from another attack.
“The federal government’s number one responsibility is to protect our country, and I remain committed to strengthening our intelligence capabilities and responsibly funding our defense in order to protect America from those who wish us harm.”
Jason Plummer, Republican nominee for Illinois' 12th Congressional District:
"No one will ever forget where they were and what they were doing as the events of September 11, 2001, unfolded. After the tragic events of that morning, the world would never be the same.
"Eleven years later, the brave men and women of our Armed Forces have fought valiantly to protect our country and the freedoms we hold dear. Every American will forever owe gratitude and respect to all the members of our Armed Forces who have made sacrifices, not just for the good of the country, but for the global community.
"My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of those who lost their lives that day, as well as the first responders and military members who made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. We will always remember those who perished that day, and those who have died while serving this great nation."
Bill Enyart, Democratic nominee for 12th congressional district:
“I came to southern Illinois as an enlisted man more than four decades ago. Then I served almost 30 years in the Illinois National Guard eventually rising to the rank of Major General. As the Adjutant General it was my to job to train, equip, and prepare soldiers and airmen for the defense of our great nation at the call of the President. I oversaw the largest overseas deployment of the Illinois National Guard since WWII. It is because of this great responsibility I had bestowed upon me, that I know the right thing to do tomorrow is to suspend our TV ads to honor the lives lost, our troops overseas as well as our first responders on 9/11.”
Ed Martin, Republican candidate for Missouri attorney general:
"Today, on this anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we remember all those who lost their lives that day. September 11, 2001 left a hole in the American spirit, and it left a hole in the lives of so many Americans. For me, I lost a friend from college, a great guy named John Farrell. John was a year ahead of me in college and was a vigorous man. I can still see him in my mind's eye playing intramural basketball or football.
"It has been eleven years since madmen consumed with evil destroyed the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon. In the days that followed, as I absorbed the loss of John and the loss to America, I was gripped with the belief that another attack was coming – it had to be coming. For months it seemed I had the sense of inevitability of another horrific attack.
"Now, eleven years on, the relative peace we enjoy in America can be traced to the tens of thousands of men and women in law enforcement, the military – even alert citizens have been working tirelessly to disrupt and destroy terror networks all over the world. Iraq has fallen. The Taliban has been sent back into the remote crevices of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden is a corpse somewhere in the ocean.
"But there is still much to be done. While we have not suffered an attack on the scale of 9/11, many conditions are still ripe for such a terrible event. The same pathways followed by drug cartels across our border can be followed by terrorists. There is plenty to criticize.
"Still, after eleven years, I cannot help but be grateful to God Almighty who has blessed our nation with indefatigable champions who have dedicated their lives – often at the cost of their lives – to lock arms and create a shield around our nation, our communities and ultimately our families. I am grateful to all of you who have fought and shed blood. They have closed with the enemy and exacted a heavy price for their evil.
"Each night I fall asleep under their watchful eye, my children rest peacefully thanks to them. My gratitude is greater than what I can express adequately. I pledge to support you all as best I can. I hope you will remember all those who gave their lives. May God bless all those people who gave their lives, especially their families, and may God bless America."
Meanwhile, one of the region’s tea party groups – K&N Patriots – is holding a candlelight vigil at 6 p.m. this evening at the group’s usual gathering place, at the intersection of Highways K and N in O’Fallon, Mo. Organizers have asked participants to avoid bringing any protest signs, to mark the solemn occasion.
Several guest speakers are planned.