Congressman and retired U.S. Navy SEAL Commander Ryan Zinke recorded a video message honoring the heroes and victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.


On the morning of September 11, 2001, America suffered a great loss and was pushed to her limits.

Yet together we came out stronger, as a nation whose spirit could not be broken, only made stronger, in the wake of tragedy.

At 8:46 AM on the September 11, 2001 the world changed forever when nineteen radical Islamic terrorist hijacked commercial jetliners and crashed them into the Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

These cowardly attacks murdered 2,977 innocent civilians and nearly 5,000 troops in the subsequent War on Terror.

The world witnessed the best and worst of humanity that day. Today we remember the best:

the 72 law enforcement officers and 343 firefighters who lost their lives running in to the towers while everyone else was fleeing for their lives.

We remember the 246 passengers and crew members on the hijacked flights.

And we remember the 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area and 125 civilians and 55 military personnel at the Pentagon who were just going to work.

These are graphic and blunt words, but to forget what happened on that day is dangerous.

A free nation is a vulnerable nation, and as long as America is the beacon of hope, freedom and liberty for oppressed peoples around the globe, we will always be the target of evil.

It is a target we must bear though because no one else can.

In the words of President John F. Kennedy, “we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.”

Radical Islamic terrorists and those who fund it remain a credible threat to America and a clear and present danger to democracy.

I have led American troops to the corners of the world in search of those responsible for these attacks.

I have seen America’s sons, daughters, mothers and fathers fight valiantly for our freedom and pay the ultimate sacrifice to defend us.

Too many of Montana’s own have fallen in the line of duty fighting radical Islamic terrorists like 31 year old husband and father of four, Blackfeet warrior Army Corporal Tony Many Hides of Great Falls.

We owe them our eternal gratitude.

I call upon all of you today to remember and honor the best of humanity. Honor those among us - both in the flesh and in spirit - who have heard the call to serve despite knowing they would be put in harm’s way.

Honor our police officers who keep our communities safe, our firefighters who protect us from disaster, and our troops who bring the fight to the enemy, so the enemy doesn’t come to us.

Freedom isn’t free and today is a reminder of that.

May God bless America, and God bless the men and women who defender her.