Durbin Honors Heroes Of 9/11 And Urges Colleagues To Confront Domestic Terrorism

Durbin also speaks on the end of the war in Afghanistan

WASHINGTON – In a speech on the Senate floor, U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) today honored the heroes of 9/11 and urged his Senate colleagues to confront the threat of homegrown domestic terrorism. Durbin shared the stories of Illinoisans who lost their lives on 9/11 – Dan Shanower, a Navy Officer at the Pentagon, and Todd Beamer, a passenger on United Flight 93. Durbin recalled how in the days that followed the 9/11 attacks, Americans were sustained by acts of heroism, sacrifice, compassion, and a deep sense of national unity.

“I watch ‘60 Minutes’ every week. Last night, I saw the program that they dedicated to the fire department of New York on 9/11. It was touching, emotional, and heartbreaking. I had tears in my eyes as they told the stories of 343 [firefighters] who went into those buildings to rescue the people who were there. They told their stories even with their voices from radio transmissions and the voices of those victims in the building praying that someone would rescue them. It was a touching moment and a reminder of what true courage looks like,” Durbin said.

Durbin then urged his colleagues to confront the rising threat of domestic terrorism in America.

“Do you remember the national unity we felt after 9/11? That tragedy brought us together. Imagine then – fast forward to January 6, 2021, when the insurrectionist mob overran this Capitol,” Durbin continued. “It is heartbreaking that 20 years later the gravest threat to America is not just the international terrorism, but some terrorism that comes from within. Al Qaeda did not succeed in attacking this Capitol, but nine months ago homegrown American terrorists did.”

Durbin also remembered the 13 service members lost in Afghanistan last month. He praised American service members and diplomats for their efforts to evacuate as many Americans and Afghans as possible as the war in Afghanistan ended.

“I will just close by saying that the Afghanistan situation should be put in the context of 13 brave Americans who lost their lives during that evacuation. But, the fact of the matter is that 124,000 people, including 80,000 Afghans and 6,000 Americans, were airlifted to safety. They and the brave service members and diplomats involved in the evacuation deserve our thanks and respect,” Durbin said.

Video of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s remarks on the Senate floor is available here for TV Stations.