September 11, 2020

Remembering September 11th

Friends,

On September 11th we remember the lives that were tragically taken at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In the wake of the attack, Americans came together. I was proud to serve our nation in the first days of the War on Terror,  and I’ll never forget what happened that day or the heroes who lost their lives.  

Today is not a day for politics, it is a day that we must all come together as Americans of every stripe.  We need to come together and face the challenges that lay before us. 

On September 11, 2001, I was serving in the United States Air Force as an intelligence officer at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho with the 366th AEW Wing, 34th Bomb Squadron---the B-1 Bombers. I was and am a proud Mountain Home Gunfighter. Our squadron deployed almost immediately as the “on-call” wing. By early October, I and my brothers and sisters in arms were mission planning the first bombing runs into Afghanistan. 

As I look back on that I time I think of the words of former President George W. Bush, “One of the worst days in America’s history saw some of the bravest acts in Americans’ history." 

Less than 24 hours after the first plane hit the towers in New York, deployment orders came.  I still remember the feeling—standing on the tarmac and then watching from the plane as my 3 daughters- all younger than 10 years old- waving small American flags from down below.  

I was deployed to active duty and would be spent the next weeks planning bombing runs on Afghanistan to respond to the attacks.  Our armed forces are asked to make sacrifices- leaving their families is often one of them.  But after 9/11, when so many more American families had sacrificed so much more, my brothers and sisters in arms were willing to make that sacrifice—inspired by the heroism of so many fire fighters, first responders, law enforcement, and citizens who answered the call, we knew that America would emerge stronger. Americans always do.

If you need help with a federal agency, please contact my Charlottesville Office at (434) 973-9631.  At this time, all Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., are temporarily closed to the public. The National Zoo has reopened by appointment. Additionally, tours of the U.S. Capitol, FBI, and Library of Congress have been suspended to help contain the outbreak and prevent community spread.