Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune (R-SD) today issued the following statement in commemoration of the upcoming five-year anniversary of September 11, 2001:

"Five years ago, our nation was attacked by an enemy with a hatred against freedom and a vile disregard for innocent life. Nearly three-thousand innocent people were murdered that day. They were mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and friends. Their loss is still felt.

"In the days following the attacks, we as a nation joined thousands of families and mourned as their loved ones failed to return home and their worst fears were realized. We sat in front of our televisions in disbelief and great sadness as we watched the death toll rise.

"As Americans we came together-first in mourning, and then in resolve. We stood united in our desire to see the terrorists brought to justice and ensure America would be terror-free from that day forward.

"Since the attacks, Congress, our military, first responders and countless other Americans have worked to keep America safe and secure. Our national resolve is strong; we will never forget. It is necessary to live our daily lives freely and without fear, but it is also important, especially on this fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, that each of us takes a moment to reflect on where we were the day our country was attacked, how we felt, and the commitment we made to ourselves and future generations.

"Many of us have attempted to return to our normal routines, but we must remember that the men and women who patrol our borders, defend us abroad, and gather intelligence on our enemies have not. Around the clock, our law enforcement, intelligence community, military and our President have remained vigilant, on guard, and proactive against these evil people who wish to topple our way of life.

"It is no coincidence that America has been terror-free for the past five years. It is a direct result of the efforts in the War on Terror, of our taking the fight to the terrorists abroad, and the skill and dedication of the men and women in uniform who sacrifice daily to keep each and every one of us safe and secure.

"Recently, the President announced 14 of the world's most evil men, including the suspected mastermind behind September 11th, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, have been transferred to Guantanamo Bay where they await trial by military tribunal.

"Bringing these men to justice will send a clear message to terrorists like them across the globe that America stands strong in the face of opposition, and our country, our freedoms, and our values will not be defeated.

"Congress will soon consider legislation to establish final rules for trying these and other terrorists. As a Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I have been working with my colleagues on this issue for some time, and I'm hopeful we will act soon to adopt these rules, so justice can be served and peace of mind can be given to the families of the fallen.

"Unfortunately, our enemy remains determined and the very real threat of terror continues. We cannot falter in our efforts to foil and defeat terrorism, or we risk leaving our country vulnerable to another attack.

"On this somber five-year anniversary, I hope we can each take a moment to mourn for the thousands who still long for the loved ones they lost that day, for the continued safety of our country, and for the protection and strength of the brave men and women serving in the War on Terror."