Nearly two decades later, federal lawmakers reflect on 9/11


(WEEK) — Just days from the 20th anniversary, local and state lawmakers are remembering where they were on 9/11, and reflecting on its impact.

“America changed that day. And I certainly hope we can remember what happened when we were attacked on September 11th – and that we never forget,” Congressman Rodney Davis said.

Davis remembers being in Florida with his family – at the time, he was working for Congressman John Shimkus, who was at the Pentagon the day of the attack.

“We couldn’t get in touch with my fellow staffers in Washington. When I finally found out everybody was okay there, we got in a rental car and decided to make the long drive home, knowing we weren’t going to make our flight home the next day,” Davis said.

Davis said 9/11 shaped the way he and other lawmakers moved forward with foreign policy, and senator Dick Durbin echoed a similar sentiment.

“I think we’re moving forward in the right respect in identifying terrorism as the problem – not a religion as the problem,” Durbin said. “There is terrorism as a threat homegrown in America today.”

Durbin said he’ll never forget where he was when the Towers fell, praising the response from then-president George W. Bush.

“It was a moment of great anxiety and fear, and sorrow, and anger that we felt,” Durbin said.

Nearly 20 years later, both politicians emphasize it is a day we will never forget.

“We can always Monday-Morning Quarterback any decision made, but as a policy-maker myself, you know you can only make those decisions based on the information you have … Things that we know have not worked out as well, it’s our job to fix them and make them better,” Davis said.

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