Opinion: ‘Never Forget’ is not just a slogan

By Nicole Malliotakis

21 years ago, I was a recent college graduate commuting to my first job near Union Square. At 8:46 a.m. my bus passed by the World Trade Center — the ground shook like an earthquake.

Thinking nothing of it, we continued uptown only to see flames, ash, and rubble billowing from the North Tower shortly thereafter. That sunny September morning soon descended into chaos as the world witnessed a horrific display of deadly and calculated destruction on American soil.

Public domain

I have not and will never forget the events that occurred that fateful day 21 years ago, and it’s time the Biden Administration gets back to our shared commitment to never allow an event of the same magnitude to happen again.

Our city and nation were shaken to their core by what had taken place. Although two decades have passed since the deadliest terrorist attack in our nation’s history, the pain has not subsided. With nearly 3,000 killed, more than 6,000 injured, and thousands more succumbing to 9/11-related illness, we cannot allow the words “Never Forget” to simply become another slogan.

With Afghanistan back in the headlines over the past year, we’re reminded of just how important our promise to “Never Forget” is.

Right now, the far-away country is under Taliban control; U.S. military vehicles are paraded in the streets adorned with Taliban fighters and flags. American citizens and Afghan allies who aided our military were left behind enemy lines to fend for themselves in a war-torn country. Even more heart-wrenching is the death of 13 courageous American servicemembers whose lives were stolen by an ISIS-K terrorist who was released from Bagram Air Base after the Taliban seized control. They made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom; it should serve as a kick in the gut reminder that freedom is not free, and we all have an obligation to preserve it.

Sadly, in our hasty retreat, Afghanistan has again become a hotbed for terrorism. We’ve lost some of our strongest counter-terrorism assets in the region, allowing for the reemergence of international terrorist organizations like al Qaeda and ISIS once again.

Here at home, the Biden administration’s lax immigration policies have only made our country more vulnerable to attack. Illegal crossings along our southern border are at an all-time high, with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) having intercepted more than 60 individuals on the FBI’s terrorist watch list in fiscal year 2022. What about the ones who got away?

More recently we’ve learned the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lacked “critical data to properly screen, vet and inspect” Afghan evacuees granted legal permission to enter and stay in the U.S. following their country’s collapse. It was discovered that one evacuee had been released from prison by the Taliban roughly three weeks after the individual’s arrival in the U.S., and another was placed in deportation proceedings three months after his arrival after the FBI found he posed “national security concerns.”

These policies, coupled with TSA allowing illegal immigrants to use arrest warrants as an alternative form of ID to board airplanes, fly in the face of the 9/11 commission report developed to learn our country’s vulnerabilities and prevent a similar attack from happening again.

On the 21st anniversary of the September 11 attacks, we must be vigilant and focused on keeping Americans safe and stopping terrorist organizations from striking our nation’s heart once again. It’s critical that we have a strong foreign policy and an even stronger military to protect our homeland, preserve peace and defend freedom around the world.

Our southern border must be secure so we know exactly who is entering our country. We must give law enforcement the tools, resources, and funding necessary to apprehend those wanting to do us harm.

The threat to our nation is real, it’s here, and it’s growing. We cannot allow the words “Never Forget” to ring hollow. I have not and will never forget the events that occurred that fateful day 21 years ago, and it’s time the Biden Administration gets back to our shared commitment to never allow an event of the same magnitude to happen again.

Nicole Malliotakis is a representative for New York’s 11th Congressional District.

Images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Michael Foran and Public domain
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8 thoughts on “Opinion: ‘Never Forget’ is not just a slogan

  1. It seems our current DOJ has already forgot and is now willing to
    negotiate with the terrorist who planned 9/11 to escape the death penalty.
    I’m sure the terrorist lover obammie had his fingers in the deal which
    should be reputed by every American/Freedom loving person.. if they are
    given a reprieve we will have given the terrorist a 2nd bonus after biden
    give them 80billion worth of modern military hardware. NEVER FORGET..
    and FJB

  2. and then there’s this:

    CBS News has confirmed military prosecutors and defense attorneys are negotiating potential plea deals that could take the death penalty off the table for the five defendants accused in the 9/11 attacks,
    @CBS_Herridge
    reports.

    Yes indeed. Never forget.

  3. Correct. We must never forget. We must not forget that the political class and their minions in the “intelligence community” along with Departments of State, Department of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff failed massively in their conduct of the war with radical Islam. In the event you haven’t noticed;
    – Afghanistan is in the hands of the Taliban and is once again harboring non-state actors who wish ill upon the world
    – Iraq is now western Iran with the Iranians enjoying their Shia crescent from Iran to Syria
    – Libya is a failed state
    – Egypt is a military dictatorship
    – UAE and KSA are hedging their bets and looking to Russia and China as strategic partners
    – The Maghreb is in the hands of Islamic extremist elements while the rest of Africa deals with the same
    Domestically- 9/11 has cemented a dangerous relationship between the National Security State and Silicon Valley that has been used to crush political dissent and replace popular consent with bureaucratic dictat while giving “lawmakers” the opportunity to delegate their remaining powers to a lawless political bureaucracy that now interprets every crisis big and small like a national emergency.
    Yes. We will remember what you have done and more importantly failed to do as you deployed the best and brightest to fight your endless wars while wasting trillions in national treasure. You should be shamed for all time.

  4. No one talks about it, but the claim was the USAF could not find the hijacked airlines because the terrorists turned off the IFF. (Identify Friend or Foe). So if true, it means that anyone from anywhere could load up a plane with bombs and attack anywhere, anytime and we could do nothing to stop it. If it was true, (and I doubt it since I was in a NORAD unit), it would mean with millions of terrorists coming across the boarder that we are in even greater peril today.

  5. The impending attack from within will make 9/11 look minor I’m sorry to say. joe doesn’t care that people are streaming in from hostile countries; they know of a few who are on the terrorist watch list. Then you add the Afghanis who came in and disappeared before being registered; anyone believe they were just in a hurry to start living the American dream? I saw Fox show where all one needs to have to be able to board a plane if (s)he’s an illegal is an arrest warrant. Can this be true?
    I am afraid for the lives lost in this next attack. But when the focus is now on Trump supporters/ white supremacists, the climate “crisis”, and anyone who is standing in opposition to the radical progressive agenda then the ability to plan and organize is much easier.

  6. We should never forget this atrocity, the same people that did this are still out there and
    still hate the USA, they infiltrated our southern border with Biden’s open border policy
    fools in charge …………………… pretty pathetic !!

    Wake up people, and make a change for the better.

  7. this is truly a very frightening time in the USA, I am so very concerned and frightened by the current administration lack of atttention, outright disregard for the security of we the people. it doesn’t matter what flavor politics you have, we need all be concerned with the state of affairs today, tomorrow and going forward……

  8. This is far more sinister than any terrorist attack.
    There are people within our country that make terrorists look like choir boys.

    People need to dig just a little deeper into these structures and how they collapsed.
    Can remember watching them on tv that morning in the break room at work.

    There is evil in this world, this is a prime example, and it’s not so clear cut.
    Lord please save us, we know not what we are doing.

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