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Sessions marks 9/11: 'The first civil right is to be alive'
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday marked the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, saying the most important job of a government is to protect its people.
During remarks Monday, Sessions said the Department of Justice was at the center of much of the country's response to the attacks.
"Much has happened since. We are better equipped, better prepared and organized and have better laws. But more can be done," Sessions said.
"The first and most important job of any government is to protect the safety and the rights of its citizens. The first civil right is to be alive," he continued.
"If we fail at this task, then every other government initiative loses importance. Everything depends upon this: that we protect the American people from enemies and those who violate the law."
Sessions said that is especially hard now because the country is "fighting those who target the unarmed, unsuspecting, innocent people going about their lives."
"These enemies seek nothing less than the end of our culture - of free speech, freedom of religion, and our democratic republic," he said.
Sessions said during the 2001 attacks, the country saw so much evil, but he commended law enforcement and other first responders, who he said demonstrated heroism.
"Today we remember their service and the importance of honoring our law enforcement officers," he said. "They symbolize order, peace and prosperity."
Sessions went on to tout victories the Department of Justice has achieved against the threat of terrorism.
"The terrorists know they can't persuade people using reason, so they use coercion and intimidation. They seek acquiescence and inaction," he said.
"But they will fail. ... We will never yield our freedom, our moral autonomy, or our country."
The threats the country faces will keep evolving, Sessions said.
"But we will evolve too," he said, "and our mission to keep our communities safe will never change."
President Trump on Monday delivered a stern warning to extremist groups threatening the U.S.
Trump mourned those who died during the Sept. 11 attacks and said he would honor the sacrifice by doing "whatever we must to keep our people safe."