I’ll never forget seeing the still-smoldering Ground Zero

I heard of the attacks while driving to my office in Albany, at the state Capitol where I was the Minority Leader of the state Assembly.

First news was a radio bulletin; then a call from a worried staffer whose son worked in the Trade Center. Fortunately, he was late to work that day and wasn’t present during the attack.

I, along with millions of others, watched helplessly and in a state of disbelief as we watched the towers fall in quick succession. Then, news of the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of an airliner in Pennsylvania allowed us to finally grasp the enormity of the attack.

A few days later, I toured the still-smoldering site with other state and local officials. That’s an image I won’t soon forget. The shock and enormity of both the loss of human life and the destruction of property still astounds and angers me. More than that, it motivates me as I carry out my new role here in the U.S. House of Representatives.

We should always remember the innocent lives lost on that fateful day and be united in our determination to stand together as Americans against acts of terror. Moreover, we must always remain vigilant to the threats which we still face internationally and here at home.