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Sen. Jerry Moran and former Sen. Pat Roberts reflect on 9/11 20th anniversary

Published: Sep. 11, 2021 at 9:27 AM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - On Sept. 11th, 2001, Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS), then a U.S Representative, said he spent most of the day on the phone fielding calls from concerned Kansans.

But, on this 20th anniversary, he clings to one memory: his first visit to Ground Zero.

“The only thing I picked up was happened to be a note and then the words were ‘Dear Daddy, how much I miss you. How I hope heaven is a wonderful place’,” said Moran. “And so, the Dear Daddy letter is a reminder that we all, every American, have a responsibility to try to make the world a better place; try to make ourselves more secure.”

On the other side of the Capitol, former Senator Pat Roberts was chair of the Emerging Threats Senate Subcommittee.

“They were trying to give us a briefing, but nobody knew anything,” recalled Roberts.

He remembered seeing alarming intelligence reports, yet being utterly unprepared for such a large assault.

“Nobody knew the extent of what the attack might be,” he said. “By the time we really figured out what was going on, it was too late.”

In the days following, both Roberts and Moran described an unwavering sense of unity in Washington.

“This was a time to pull together,” said Roberts.

Now, 20 years later, following the Biden Administration troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, national security remains at the forefront of their minds.

“I don’t think we’re ever going to be totally safe. It’s just that you try to do everything you can to make sure that no other attack occurs,” said Moran.

Sen. Jerry Moran is now the Ranking Member on the Veteran Affairs Committee. Former Senator Pat Roberts is a Marine Corp. veteran. He retired from Congress in 2020.

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