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Washington, D.C. – House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy delivered a speech today at the Congressional Remembrance Ceremony for the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 where he mourned the loss of life on 9/11 and recognized the first responders who inspired a country with their selfless bravery.

Remarks as prepared are below, or you may watch online here.

“Winston Churchill once said that “courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it’s the quality which guarantees all others.”

“Churchill knew that, without courage, nothing else is possible. And there is no better example — NONE — than how Americans responded on September 11, 2001.”

“Many gave their lives for strangers, inspired by a sense of duty and a love for others.”

“It is impossible not to admire them. Their courage in the most difficult circumstances is an inspiration to us all. We will never forget them.”

“Todd Beamer and the heroes on Flight 93, who — as the attacks unfolded — took a vote, said a prayer, and took matters into their own hands.”

“Why? Because that is what Americans do.”

“The firefighters who cleared the rubble from Ground Zero in search of survivors, determined to leave nobody behind.”

“Why? Because that’s what Americans do.”

“The warriors who took the fight to the enemy and kept us safe from another 9/11 for more than twenty years.”

“Why? Because that’s what Americans do.”

“Twenty years ago, we saw true evil — an evil that tried to destroy us. But good people become heroes in hard times — and that’s how the American people responded: heroically.”

“We rallied around the principles of freedom that came under attack. We comforted families, friends, and neighbors. Churches flung open their doors and we flocked in, calling out to God for help and hope.”

“We had the sense to know there was something more important than politics. We stood together UNITED… proud to be Americans.”

“We flew the American flag in homes across the country — to honor the first responders who lost their lives… and to celebrate the undying American values that a cowardly act of terrorism could not extinguish.”

“This is a record of how a dark hour of American history became one of our finest hours.”

“The cowards who wanted to destroy our way of life tried to break our spirit. Instead, they revealed that those who live in freedom have a rare reservoir of strength that nobody else has.”

“Two decades later, we continue to mourn the victims and honor our heroes.”

“We cannot mourn without honoring — and we cannot honor without resolving to do everything we can to prevent another terrorist attack on American soil.”

“Together, we can continue to honor the memories of the fallen by making “Never Forget” a 365-day commitment.”

“It is up to us — everyone — to make this pledge meaningful.”

“Thank you, and may God Bless America.”