As the 10-year anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001 nears, the House on Friday unanimously approved a resolution honoring the victims of the terror attacks.
“The people’s House has renewed its solemn vow to ‘never forget’ what happened on Sept. 11, 2001,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “The thousands of innocents and heroes who lost their lives are in our prayers, as are their loved ones. The resolution passed by the House also commends our military and intelligence officials who have performed so valiantly over the last 10 years, including those involved in the removal of Osama bin Laden.”
The resolution “recognizes September 11 as a day of solemn commemoration” and honors the heroism of the military and civilian personnel, “first responders, law enforcement personnel, State and local officials, volunteers and others” who aided the victims of the attacks.
It also expresses gratitude to foreign leaders and citizens “who have assisted and continue to stand in solidarity with the United States against terrorism” in the decade since the attacks, and “commends the military and intelligence personnel involved in the removal of Osama bin Laden.”
The full text of the resolution can be found here.
Boehner, who will lead a bipartisan delegation to Shanksville, Pa., on Saturday, said that the coming days “afford each of us an opportunity to reflect and renew our commitment to defend against all enemies this land we love and the firm principles on which it stands.”
“We must continue to adapt and move forward, we must not yield, we must not grow complacent, and we must not rest until the terrorist threat is vanquished,” he added.
House Republican leaders apparently don’t consider the resolution in the same category as the commemorative resolutions that they have resisted since the GOP become the majority party in the chamber this year. The leadership has largely stopped those symbolic resolutions, saying they distract from the real work of Congress.
The party leaders said when they took office that there would be no more special votes used for “expressions of appreciation and recognition.”
In floor remarks in the Senate Friday morning, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) noted the upcoming anniversary and asked members to remember that “the challenges we face as a nation – whether threats to our national security or to our economic security – are best faced together.”
“We will never forget the events of that Tuesday morning, which dawned so clear and blue, or how they changed our nation,” Reid said. “But we should also remember the spirit of unity and determination that blossomed amidst the darkness of that day. In the weeks and months that followed, we were not Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Red states and Blue states. We were Americans one and all.”
This story has been updated.