CAPAC Members Commemorate the 21st Anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001

Sep 9, 2022

Washington, D.C. — Today, ahead of this weekend’s 21st anniversary of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, which tragically claimed the lives of over 3,000 Americans and forever changed our nation and world, members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements: 

CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27):

“As we mark 21 years since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, we honor and grieve the lives of over 3,000 innocent people taken from us. We also commend the incredibly bravery and patriotism of those Americans who took action on one of our darkest days, stepping up to save lives and showcase the strength of our nation. However, as we remember that tragic day, we cannot overlook the xenophobia and hate violence our Muslim, South Asian, Sikh, Arab and Middle Eastern American communities have continued to face in the aftermath of this attack, including discrimination and surveillance by our own government. Today, as we remember those lost, let us vow to honor their memory by uniting against fear, division and prejudice, and recognize that a threat to the civil liberties of our fellow Americans is a threat to our strength and unity as a nation.”

CAPAC First Vice-Chair Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06):

“On Sunday, we commemorate the 21st anniversary of the horrific terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. On one of the darkest days in American history, our city and country were forever changed.  We hold in our hearts the memories of those we lost and we honor the first responders and average New Yorkers who risked and gave their lives to save others. However, today also serves as a reminder of the rise in violence and discrimination against South Asians, Muslims, Sikhs, and South West Asians that followed 9/11. Spurred on by xenophobia and fear, our nation justified discriminatory practices that perpetuated cruel policies. On this 21st anniversary, let us recommit ourselves to fighting prejudice and bigotry in every instance and standing in unity. I ask all Americans to join me today in prayer for all those impacted.

CAPAC Whip Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-33):

“21 years ago, a group of 19 al-Qaeda terrorists, the majority of whom were Saudis, carried out the deadliest terror attacks on American soil in our nation’s history. Nearly 3,000 people lost their lives and our country was forever changed. Today, we honor the first responders who bravely put their lives on the line and we remember those who died that day. Just recently, President Biden authorized a precision drone strike that killed Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the al-Qaeda leader who was deeply involved in the planning of the September 11 attacks. The United States is resolved to bring those responsible for these atrocities to justice. We must also acknowledge the increased surveillance of and violence toward Southeast Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Americans in the wake of the September 11 attacks. On the anniversary of 9/11, we remember all those impacted by that day’s events and recommit to a future free of violence, terror, bigotry, and hatred in all forms.”

Rep. Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“Today, we remember the victims of 9/11 and the first responders who risked their lives. We will never forget their heroic service to our nation. As we remember and heal from this tragedy, we must also recognize the discrimination, and violence against Muslim, Middle Eastern, Arab, Sikh, and South Asian Americans following 9/11. Along with honoring the victims of this horrific event and the first responders, we must also combat the discrimination against these communities which continues today.”

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07):

"Years pass and the tragedy of September 11 and the days that followed remains just as incomprehensible. We remember the people who lost their lives, their loved ones who will never stop mourning them, and the first responders who put their lives and health on the line that day. At the same time, we must acknowledge that our own government implemented harmful policies that unfairly targeted Arab, Muslim, Middle Eastern, South Asian, and Sikh communities. September 11 is a reminder that we must not govern from a place of fear or hatred. Instead, we must continue to dismantle the systems that unfairly target our marginalized communities. Now more than ever, we need to stand strong against hate, and condemn any and all displays of racism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, and the violence they propagate."

Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24):

“21 years ago, our country saw an act of unspeakable cruelty and devastation. As we mourn the thousands of lives lost that day and extend our gratitude to the heroic first responders who risked their lives to protect ours, we must also acknowledge the backlash and hatred the South Asian community faced in the aftermath of 9/11. In order to continue our country’s growth and healing, we must commit to creating communities safe from threats of terror from outside and within.”

Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05):

"Twenty-one years after the September 11 terrorist attacks, we continue to mourn the lives tragically lost, recognize the families left behind, and thank the brave service members and first responders called into action that day. And, we vow to do better on behalf of the Muslim communities who were unjustly discriminated against in the wake of these attacks. Let the legacy of 9/11 be a better future for generations to come — a future free from the threat of terrorism and defined by peace.”