World Trade Center     
Never Forget Four Years Later...

It is a brilliant, crisp, blue-skied September day here today... just as it was that Tuesday four years ago... September 11, 2001... that terrible day when nearly 3,000 people lost their lives in what was then an unimaginable attack on the United States. Men. Women. Children. The oldest was 85 years old. The youngest was two. TWO! Think about it! A baby, really... the age of my youngest nephew...

Unimaginable. Unthinkable. Unforgettable. And, worst of all, unresolved.

Unresolved because, as I sit here, four years later, there has been no justice for the victims of that terrible attack. People I knew. People I worked with. My neighbors. My friends. Struck down senselessly. And yet those responsible are still out there. I want to repeat word for word what I said last year: It is simply inconceivable to me that, with all the vast resources of this country, Osama bin Laden is still out there. I was trained as a lawyer and as a prosecutor. I believe in justice and I believe deeply in the rule of law. And I want those who committed these acts brought to account for what they did.

The fact that those responsible have not been brought to justice makes me so angry. We were promised that they would be. We were promised that this country would spare nothing to find them and make them answer for what they had done. And then we were promised that that was why we sent thousands of young Americans into harm's way half a world away. And none of those promises has been kept: the people who killed my countrymen, my colleagues, my friends and my neighbors are still out there, killing others. And there's not one shred of proof that all the billions of dollars of resources and all the lives that have been spent overturning a government we didn't like in a country that didn't threaten us has brought us even one millimeter closer to bringing bin Laden and his ilk to justice. And that infuriates me as well.

And the events of these past two weeks here in the United States make me even angrier. It's been four years since the attacks of 9/11. Four years in which I expected that my government was preparing to protect me and my fellow citizens from the aftermath of another attack. Four years to organize, to plan. Hurricane Katrina proved that we've wasted every one of those four years. An entire American city has died in the last two weeks -- and, along with it, dozens of other towns and villages up and down the Gulf Coast. Pascagoula, Mississippi. Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana. Waveland, Mississippi. St. Bernard's Parish, Louisiana. I have watched -- stunned -- as our government has failed the people of the Gulf Coast. As they have drowned, broiled, starved, dehydrated... and died.

I keep asking myself... what in the world have we done with the past four years? Where has the planning been? Where has the money gone? Because I know, without question, that if that had been me and mine here, instead of those folks there, the emergency "management" efforts would have been no better. And we here would have died by the dozens... by the hundreds... just as they did, here, four years ago.

And that is yet another injustice for the victims of 9/11. They deserve nothing less than proof that this country learned something from 9/11... and that we will work not only to prevent disasters from occurring but also to protect and assist our citizens when they do occur.

But I will try as well to get my anger under control so I can do the one thing I want to do on 9/11 this year, and 9/11 every year -- to stand witness. To make sure that I do not forget. That we do not forget. That no-one forgets. That nearly 3,000 lives will never be forgotten.

To say, one more time, this year and every year, as long as I have life and breath, in words and images, NEVER FORGET.

curve bar curve