AUSTIN (KXAN) — Politicians across Texas are paying tribute to those who died on 9/11 on the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks.
In statements released Saturday morning, lawmakers largely put politics aside as they remembered those who died, honored first responders and remembered how the country came together in the wake of the shocking attacks.
Nearly 3,000 people were killed in terrorist attacks in New York City, Washington D.C. and Shanksville, Pennsylvania – the deadliest terror attack in the history of the United States.
Governor Greg Abbott led the tributes, issuing a proclamation urging Texans to pause on Saturday to remember the lives lost 20 years ago.
“Over the course of a single morning, we lost family members, friends, loved ones, coworkers – each one with hopes and dreams,” Gov. Abbott said. “Twenty years later, we still feel their loss.
“Today, I encourage Texans to pause in remembrance of the innocent lives lost on September 11, 2001. As we united in the face of destruction and tragedy, let us once again remember the enduring patriotism that binds us together as one nation. Together, we will be a guiding light for generations to come.”
Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa thanked firefighters, police officers, service members and “ordinary people” who responded to the attacks 20 years ago.
Describing the anniversary as “somber”, he extended thoughts to people who lost loved ones and “those who continue to suffer pain, grief and trauma because of this tragedy.”
“As we remember September 11, 2001, we will never forget those who we lost,” Hinojosa said. “We will continue to stand together and build back better towards a more equitable and just society that leaves no one behind.”
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz said that he and his wife Heidi lived less than a mile from the Pentagon at the time, recalling “the agony of a nation that realized we were under attack.”
“We also remember the unity, how we came together,” he said. “For a moment in time, there were no Republicans or Democrats. There were no red states or blue states. We were America.”
Sen. Cruz also took time to thank everyone who responded after 9/11, adding: “This is a date that shall live in infamy.”
Congressman Michael McCaul gave thanks to the military for their role in preventing another mass terrorist attack on the scale of 9/11 in the U.S.
“For the last 20 years their service and sacrifice has protected the homeland from another attack like 9/11 and saved countless lives,” Rep. McCaul said. “We will never forget.”