Sen. Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) commemorated the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks with a Senate speech honoring both the victims of the tragedy and the heroic efforts of first responders who "ran toward danger and death to help their fellow Americans."
"September 11 is a solemn anniversary. Eighteen years later, we still remember the toll from that terrible day," Cotton said. "Nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives in the attacks on the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and United Flight 93, but every American experienced the pain of loss that day."
"Just as we mourn the innocent lives lost, we also remember the heroism of our first responders, who ran toward danger and death to help their fellow Americans. Out of the ashes of that terrible tragedy arose a strength and unity that the whole world came to admire."
Earlier this summer, President Donald Trump signed a bill to create a victim compensation fund for 9/11 first responders. The bill allocates billions of dollars in health care funding for the first responders struggling with illnesses from the aftermath of the attacks.
"Young kids who witnessed firefighters rush into the burning towers grew up and themselves joined units with old-fashioned names like ‘Engine' and ‘Ladder'. A generation of intelligence officers dedicated themselves to preventing another 9/11," Cotton continued. "They have and they still do."
Cotton stressed that the after-effects of the attacks are still with the country today.
"The attacks of 18 years ago continue to claim new victims, as first responders and others succumb to injuries and illnesses that trace back to that morning," he said. "The Al Qaeda terrorists who attacked us are bloodied yet undefeated, while the Taliban terrorists who gave them safe haven threaten to regain control of Afghanistan."
In the wake of President Trump's decision to cancel negotiations with representatives of the Taliban, the United States military is planning on ramping up military activity in Afghanistan, according to Reuters.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned that the Taliban's position in Afghanistan is "about to get worse," saying that America will "make sure that everyone in the region understands that America will always protect its national security interests."