This week marks the 21st anniversary of the horrific attacks on our nation that took nearly 3,000 innocent lives on Sept. 11, 2001.
9/11 is known as one of the darkest days of American history. It changed the world forever and shaped a generation. In the days following the shocking attack, we turned as a country to process our grief and consider our next steps forward.
The horrors of those days transformed into something the terrorists never intended. We came together to comfort and support each other in unprecedented unity. There were no Democrats, Republicans, or Independents. Only Americans.
What was intended to incapacitate us was no match for the American spirit. Our response to these acts of terrorism was swift and defiant. Thousands of men and women answered the call to protect freedom and execute the Global War on Terrorism with strength and precision. Al-Qaeda was hunted down and the Taliban was removed from power, protecting our nation and allowing a generation of Afghans to know freedom for the first time.
Over two decades after 9/11, our nation still mourns those we lost. We will never forget the victims whose days were cut short and the men and women who gave their lives to protect our way of life from those who hate liberty.
In 2016, President Barack Obama federally recognized Sept. 11 as the National Day of Service and Remembrance.
I encourage every Arkansan and American to find ways to serve, support, and pray for each other, regardless of our political, religious, or socioeconomic identities.
In times as divisive as these, it is important to remember that we are one people, living in the greatest country in the world. In our kindness and compassion for each other, we honor those who lost their lives on 9/11 and in service to our great nation. There is no better way to keep their memories alive.
U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman is Arkansas' Fourth District Congressman.