September 11, 2023
Twenty-two years ago, today I was on my way to work in lower Manhattan when my subway jolted to a sudden halt. I walked outside and the first thing I saw was a building on fire.
There was fear and confusion and, even in those early hours, failure to comprehend the horror of what was happening around us. In the aftermath, we were faced with impossible questions: How does a nation of mothers and fathers explain this to their children? Who picks up a car that has sat for weeks at a train station? Now, decades later, with an ever-growing number of Americans who have no personal memory of the attacks, we ask ourselves: what is the legacy of that day?
I remember the lines of people outside of hospitals to donate blood. Dust-covered strangers embracing. Firefighters, construction crews, steamfitters and welders who drove hundreds of miles to search for survivors and clear away rubble. I sensed an almost primal instinct to help, to comfort, to show our profound difference from those who had visited such horror upon us. In our darkest hour, millions of Americans brought light and support to those in need. That day, and for some time afterwards, we were family.
Twenty-two years ago, nearly three thousand innocent people perished on September 11. Many of us in Southwest Connecticut lost loved ones, neighbors, and friends. Today, we remember them. We honor them best by remembering the spirit of unity that arose from the ashes and reminded us of our common humanity. That feeling that we are deeply obligated to each other’s welfare— that is what I hope endures.
Jim Himes, Congressman
MAY PEACE PREVAIL ON EARTH