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LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: State Rep. Rebecca Raymer

State Rep. Rebecca Raymer

The Day that Changed the Course of History: September 11, 2001



It is rare that a memory can be so deeply impactful and so shockingly vivid, while simultaneously shared among so many Americans than that of September 11th, 2001. On that morning, heinous crimes against humanity were committed by terrorists seeking to destroy a nation. It is paramount to annually remember and reflect upon the lives that were lost, the struggle of dealing with such fear and apprehension, and the ability of a nation to unite around the same core values as those that built it: strength, resilience, and an incredible ability to support one another.


Upon this reflection, the duties of first-responders on the morning of September 11th become almost unthinkable. An unexplainable event at the time, they were tasked with saving lives in an environment that would change the course of history, and even start a war soon after.


Nearly 3,000 souls perished as a result of the terrorist attack by the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda. As soon as it became clear that we were under attack, America fought back. Despite tens of thousands of gallons of jet fuel, a massive shower of pulverized building materials, and a giant plume of toxic gases, nearly 100,000 rescue and recovery personnel responded to the scene in the months that followed.  343 firefighters and paramedics were killed in their efforts, exercising the ultimate sacrifice in most horrifying of times.


In one of the darkest and most unprecedented periods of the 21st century, the United States of America showed the world why it remains the greatest country in history. A country of almost 300 million people united, embraced their neighbor, and became dedicated to one collective goal: bringing justice and peace back to society. Your age, race, ethnicity, political affiliation is moot. You are American.


 On September 11th this year, I encourage you to do a few things. First, honor the innocent citizens that lost their lives as a result of this evil assault. Honor their families, their communities, and their sacrifice. Furthermore, thank your first responders: it is their willing career to put their lives at risk for the benefit of yours, and it were these same honorable people that ran, without hesitation, into the burning rubble saving thousands of other lives. Lastly, I want you to reflect upon the feelings you experienced that day, and appreciate how far we have progressed, how much we have built, and how quickly we rallied. This is all a result of the unrivaled American spirit.


 When I reflect on the rallying efforts of Americans, a few images come to mind. I think of the 1,776-foot One World Trade Center, with its façade symbolizing the strength of the American identity. I think of the Chicago Cubs’ first home game after the September 11th attacks, when Dominican-born Sammy Sosa proudly circled the outfield waving an American flag to a roaring and patriotic crowd. I think of the September 11th Memorial Mission Statement: “May the lives remembered, the deeds recognized, and the spirit reawakened be eternal beacons, which reaffirm respect for life, strengthen our resolve to preserve freedom, and inspire an end to hatred, ignorance, and intolerance.”


September 11, 2001 was a year that changed the course of history. The complex and interconnected nature of geopolitics was shattered and reorganized in one day. War ensued, with new alliances made and old ones broken. The ripples are still deeply felt today. As we reflect, 22 years later, let us exude similar courage and compassion for our neighbors, while pledging to continue the fight for justice and peace. Let the American spirit continue to shine through you.



As always, I can be reached anytime through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at [email protected]. You can also keep track of committee meetings and potential legislation through the Kentucky legislature’s home page at


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