Florida politicians remembered the victims lost in the Sept. 11 attacks on Sunday, sharing their thoughts on the terrorist attacks which took thousands of lives 15 years ago. Memorials were also being held throughout the state, from South Florida to Orlando and beyond.
Here's what Florida politicians are saying on Sept. 11:
Gov. Rick Scott
"Today, all Floridians and Americans remember and reflect on the innocent lives lost on September 11, 2001. This year we also pause to remember the 49 innocent lives lost by the evil of terrorism at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando this summer. I was in New York City on 9/11 and I was in Orlando hours after the Pulse attack and saw the impact it had on families and the community. Terrorism is still impacting every American right here on our soil and we have to do all we can to eliminate it. We will never heal from the pain of these losses, but we will continue to be reminded of the memories and joy these loved ones brought to our lives. We will stand behind our selfless service men and women who protect our freedoms and continue to mourn these incredible people who tragically lost their lives."
Lieutenant Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera
“15 years ago, our country suffered a great loss, but we rose united. As you enjoy your weekend, please reflect on the lives lost, our first responders that bravely saved American lives, and the brave men and women of our armed forces that are still fighting against terrorism and protecting our freedoms.”
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater
“Fifteen years ago, the foundation of our nation felt an assault so terrible, we felt it tremble beneath our feet. We saw images so horrific that they are forever seared into the hearts and minds of every American who experienced that fateful day. Americans will never forget where they were the morning when they heard the news of the attacks that happened Tuesday, September 11, 2001. We stopped in our tracks. We gathered our family together. We watched in complete horror and utter disbelief as the magnitude of the day began to settle in. As the stories came, of people—their faces, their names—of families who lost loved ones or struggled to know their fate. We heard the recordings that we cannot erase from our memories—desperate pleas for help, frantic calls to spouses, and goodbye calls to children—and our nation’s heart broke watching its country grieve. It was during these heart-wrenching, stressful times that America showed the world the character of a free nation. Out of the ashes and destruction rose stories of bravery and selflessness—stories of ordinary people rising to great heights in the face of evil. Firefighters and police officers donned their uniforms running fearlessly and directly into harm’s way to help others. Their call to duty rightfully became permanently engrained into the memories etched into our minds of that day. All the while, their families waited and wondered if their loved one would ever make it home. It is for this we owe them our most heartfelt gratitude and admiration. Heroes on United Flight 93 leapt into action to defend their fellow brothers and sisters. It was an awakening to the presence of everyday heroes who live and walk beside us. As we remember this week, let us vow to never forget the lives that were lost, the sacrifices that were made, or how the events of that day forever changed the landscape of our nation. Let us be inspired by the legacies of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice—their lives—and rededicate ourselves to the work of freedom.”
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson
“It’s not often that you can tell someone exactly what you were doing on a particular day 15 years ago. But September 11, 2001 is a day most of us will never forget. Like many Americans, I can still vividly recall the sights and sounds of that horrific day and I’ll never forget the sense of shock that swept across the nation. The events of that day changed the course of our nation’s history forever, but they failed to break our spirit or change who we are as a people."
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio
“On this day 15 years ago, the United States was attacked by radical Islamic terrorists in a shocking, coordinated display of barbaric and brutal mass violence. Americans responded as Americans do, with bravery, selflessness, patriotism, and sacrifice. The heroes of that day – men and women at the Pentagon, in New York City and the Pennsylvania sky – will never be forgotten. We remember and honor the first responders, police officers, firefighters, service members and everyday citizens who rushed to the aid of their fellow countrymen, because they represent what is best about our country.
“Since that day, America has been at war with an evil ideology that despises freedom and basic human rights. In places like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and some places that will never be known, our nation has lost sons, daughters, fathers and mothers as they fought to keep us safe. Americans have also lost friends and loved ones in cities like Boston, Chattanooga, Fort Hood, Little Rock, San Bernardino and Orlando. The threat of small groups of jihadists and lone individuals inspired by al Qaeda or ISIS persists, which is why we must remember what happened on 9/11 and why we must remain vigilant."
“We are grateful for those in the intelligence community, diplomatic service and our military who are on front lines of this battle," Rubio said. "We must make sure they continue to have the tools and resources they need to do their jobs effectively, because the threats to our nation from abroad and here at home continue to grow. So today, as we reflect on those we lost 15 years ago, and four years ago in Benghazi, let us recommit as Americans to standing united in defense of our freedoms, values and one another.”
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch
“5 years after September 11, 2001, we remember the horrific loss of life, the heroism of so many, and the unity we felt as Americans. Let's remain united in extending deep appreciation to our first responders and members of the military who work tirelessly to keep us safe every day.”
U.S. Rep. David Jolly
"Fifteen years ago today our world was changed forever. The horrifying images of September 11, 2001 still haunt all of us. And while the wounds of that day will never fully heal and the memories of those lost will never fade, America’s resilience and spirit remains unbreakable."
U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller
Today we remember those brave souls taken from us on that tragic morning fifteen years ago. As we pray for those they’ve left behind, let us also pray for those serving in harm’s way to protect our freedom and way of life. May we never bow down to evil and always appreciate the blessings of life and liberty. God bless our courageous men and women in uniform, their families, and may He continue to bless the United States of America.
U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy
"We remember the September 11, 2001 attacks. We will never forget those we lost, and we salute those who serve and protect us."
Incoming Senate President Joe Negron
“This weekend, we honor the memory of all those who lost their lives in the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. We will never forget.”