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McKinney Speaks on Attack on America

September 12, 2001

Mr. Speaker:

We stand here today, mere miles away from a tragedy that shook our nation and left many shocked and angered by an act of unprecedented brutality on America's shores.

As we emerge from the incomprehensible darkness into the light of this day let us concentrate first, our prayer and mourning, our sadness and our sorrow, for the victims of this unimaginable horror and then second send our prayers, support, and heartfelt thanks to the courageous police, firefighters, and medical staff who have made great sacrifices, and in some cases given their lives, to care for the injured and take care of our dead.

And in our search for understanding and truth, we should remember that now, especially, at this time of need, it is truly our reliance on a higher power that will see us through.

And so, as we pray to our God, let us not forget that real security and real peace come through justice.

That fear and prejudice divert us from our true and righteous cause.

That we are a country that stands for the rule of law.

The perpetrators of this crime can and will be dealt with. We must be careful not to rush to judgment and must ensure that when we strike back we deliver a blow against those truly responsible for these terrible crimes. President Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell have steered us on a prudent course. Now is the time for us to trust their leadership.

Father Coughlin reminded us this morning of the guidance that is available to us from God. He reminded us to build this and every day on a foundation of justice; and to mourn our dead with acts of compassion.

My prayer for America today is that we heed Father Coughlin's call, that all of us Americans will soon join together and rededicate ourselves to the fight to defeat racism and to further justice at home and abroad, with an unbounded commitment to freedom, justice, peace, and security for all.

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