WASHINGTON — Monday marked the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, which claimed the lives of 2,977 Americans and forever changed the nation and world.
In recognition of this anniversary, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus released the following statements:
CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena): “Today, 22 years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, I join my fellow CAPAC members to honor and grieve the lives of 2,977 innocent people taken from us. I commend the incredible bravery and patriotism of those Americans who took action on one of our nation’s darkest days, stepping up to save lives and showcase the strength of our nation.
“In the days and weeks that followed, the country came closer together, but many in the Muslim, Middle Eastern, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian communities were excluded from that unity. Instead, in the aftermath of this attack, they have faced xenophobia, hate violence, discrimination and even surveillance, including by our own government.
“We are also reminded today that national security can never be an excuse to target and profile entire communities. So as we remember those lost, let us vow to honor their memory by uniting against fear, division, and prejudice.”
CAPAC First Vice Chair Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.): “Today marks the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that forever changed our beloved city and the life of every American around the country. We will always remember those we lost and the sacrifices of the first responders and the everyday New Yorkers who risked their lives to save others.
“We also need to remember the sharp rise in violence and discrimination faced by South Asians, Muslims, Sikhs, and Southwest Asians that accompanied the aftermath of 9/11 for years. The unfounded attacks on these communities, both political and personal, must not happen again. In remembrance of all those impacted, let us recommit to fighting bigotry and prejudice in our lives.”
CAPAC Second Vice-Chair Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside): “22 years ago, the tragic events of 9/11 shook the nation and claimed the lives of thousands. Our nation’s grit and perseverance carried us in the days and months after the attacks, but we must reconcile the injustices which were committed against the Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities. Only by standing together can we ensure that the lessons of 9/11 are not tarnished by intolerance.”
CAPAC Whip Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance): “Today we honor the memories of those lost on Sept. 11, 2001, in the deadliest terrorist attacks on American soil in our nation’s history. We continue to mourn the nearly 3,000 people who died while thanking the brave first responders who so courageously sprung into action on that fateful day.
“Twenty-two years later, we must also recognize the increased discrimination, stereotyping, and violence that the Southeast Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh American communities experience following the horrific attacks. As we remember all those impacted by these atrocities, we must unite against all forms of bigotry, hatred, and terror. My prayers are with the families of all 9/11 victims.”
Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.): “On Sept. 11, 2001, the United States experienced incomprehensible tragedy as a nation. We lost thousands of lives to the worst terrorist attack to ever take place on American soil, and the impact of those events has been felt every day since. As we remember and mourn those we lost, including the first responders who put their lives and health on the line to help our country, we must also reflect on the harmful policies that were implemented in the months and years after.
“9/11 forever changed what it means to be Muslim, Arab, Sikh or South Asian in America — something I felt keenly as a South Asian immigrant woman. Our communities were targeted with racism and xenophobic sentiments that have no place in this country. We must remember to govern not from a place of fear or hatred, but to dismantle systems that unfairly target marginalized communities as we stand together against stigma and discrimination and fight for liberty for all.”
Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Santa Clara): “On the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we remember the victims of this tragedy and keep their families and loved ones in our thoughts. We must also honor the courageous first responders and their heroic service to our nation.
“As we mourn those killed and reflect on this tragedy, we must also recognize the discrimination, and violence against Muslim, Middle Eastern, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian Americans following 9/11. We must stand up to discrimination in any form.”
Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.): “We will never forget the lives that were tragically cut short 22 years ago today. We forever honor their memories and the courage of first responders who put their lives in danger and made the ultimate sacrifice to save others. We must also recognize the discrimination and prejudice that Muslim, South Asian, Sikh, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities experienced following 9/11.
“Today, let us remember those who lost their lives and stand united against all forms of bigotry and xenophobia whenever and wherever they occur.”