“Like most Americans, I remember exactly where I was when hearing of the terrorist attacks against our nation on the morning of September 11, 2001,” Schwartz said in a statement. “As a state senator at the time, I was preparing to speak at a Jewish women’s organization when planes struck the north tower of the World Trade Center, followed by the south tower, the Pentagon, and a field in my home state of Pennsylvania. I experienced the same emotions – disbelief, grief, fear and the urge to help in any way possible – shared by millions of Americans who witnessed the horrific events and their aftermath.
“Later in the morning, I contacted the organization assuming that they would cancel their event. To my surprise, the women had decided to go forward as planned. They refused to let terrorists dictate their lives — not here or anywhere freedom is a value cherished above almost all others.
“As we reflect on the 12 years since the attacks, much has changed but our nation is strong, we are more secure and we have retained our core values of freedom, equality, opportunity and democracy. Thanks to the determination and sacrifices of the men and women serving in our armed forces, Al-Qaeda has been severely weakened and Osama bin Laden is no longer a threat to our nation.
“On this September 11th, we remember the innocent victims who perished in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania, and celebrate the heroism of the thousands of first responders, rescue workers, police, firefighters, medical personnel, construction workers and everyday Americans who put themselves in harm’s way to help their fellow citizens. We come together to honor the sacrifice of our fellow Americans whom we lost that fateful morning and those who have paid the ultimate price to protect our nation here at home and around the world.”