In a calculated attack unlike any America had ever known, on September 11, 2001, terror swept across our skies. Nine years ago, an evil force, employing nineteen hijackers, destroyed 2,977 innocent lives. The unsuspecting victims were hardworking businessmen and women, firefighters, paramedics, EMTs, police officers, military personnel, and citizens from more than ninety countries. Nine years later, we have not forgotten, and we understand for better and for worse, our nation will never be the same.
In the years following the coordinated attacks on 9/11, the United States has been embroiled in a war against Islamic extremists. We continue to fight to provide stability in the Middle East was well as worldwide. Our nation has made great strides on all fronts, including the elimination of key Al Qaeda leaders and operatives, and the interception of communications that have foiled terrorist plots at home and abroad. Still, America faces threats from terrorist networks around the world. While no major attacks have been successfully carried out in recent years, the Christmas Day and Times Square bombing attempts reveal that we still have dangerous enemies who actively pursue means to harm and kill Americans.