Today Congressman Josh Gottheimer, along with first responders from Bergen County, attended the 9/11 Memorial Service at the Bergen County Law and Safety Institute to honor the tragic loss of the terror attacks on September 11th, 2001. In recognition of the 17th anniversary of 9/11, Congressman Gottheimer gave the following remarks:
“Good morning. Thank you, County Executive, for those powerful, searing remarks. Thank you also to our sheriff, our prosecutor, our freeholder and other elected officials.
“In Isaiah, there’s a passage that says “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for us?’ and I said ‘Here I am, send me’.
“When I think about 9/11, I think about those, of course, that we lost that day- families that were torn apart, 147 in Bergen County. And I think about you, and those who came before you. Those who answered the call and said ‘Send me’.
“That’s something I know you continue to do every day in the face of danger, threats, and terror. You stand up, as do all first responders – officers, firefighters, EMTs – and say ‘Send me’.
“I want you to know, on behalf of those I represent, and on behalf of a very grateful country, how much we appreciate what you do, going into harm’s way every day. Because there is no better way to honor the memories and legacies of the ones we lost than to stand up for the greatest country in the world and the greatest democracy in the world, against all evils – against terror, ISIS, al-Qaeda, homegrown lone-wolf terrorism – and continuing the fight every single day to protect what we hold dear – our values our democracy.
“What I will always remember from that moment, and I’m sure many of you will as well, is in the weeks after, how we came together as a country, past any lines that divide us like party or region. I remember that so well, and I remember President Bush standing on top of the pile with the bullhorn and realizing that in spite of what we face as a country, just how blessed we were to live here – to come together against evil.
“We must always remember we are Americans, first and foremost. That’s what makes us who we are and so strong. That is what I am focused on in Washington, and I will continue to make sure I remember that my job is to protect America, and that my job is to say thank you to you for always having our backs and always saying ‘Send me’.
“Thank you and may God continue to bless and watch over the United States of America.”
Below: Gottheimer speaks at the 9/11 Memorial Service at the Bergen County Law and Safety Institute.