WASHINGTON - Members of West Virginia's congressional delegation reflected on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorists attacks.
U.S. Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., asked everyone to participate in an act of kindness to mark the day.
"On each solemn and moving anniversary of that horrific September day, our nation mourns all those whose lives were taken and those lives that were forever changed. We remain filled with heartache from that day, and I suspect we always will.
"Each year on this anniversary, I ask all West Virginians to honor the victims of 9/11 by participating in an act of service," Rockefeller said. "It can be as simple as volunteering at a local food bank, visiting an elderly neighbor, taking a moment to thank a police officer or firefighters for their service, or finding your own special way of giving back.
"I can think of no better way to honor that tragic day than staying true to our state's long tradition of honoring others by making meaningful contributions to our communities."
U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said the images from 2001 are still real for many.
"A dozen years later, the memories of 9/11 are still very real for Americans - the terrible images of the Towers falling, the Pentagon in flames and the smoldering field in rural Pennsylvania," he said. "It was a day when all Americans shared a terrible tragedy. But it was also a day that united us as never before. And as much as it changed our country, it also showed how much in America never changes - our desire to keep our families safe and our country strong. These are the ideals that truly bind us together as a nation. And, with God's blessings, it will always be so."
U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., said 12 years ago the nation was shaken to its core.
"We did not falter, instead, we showed the rest of the world that America is a nation united in the love of country and deeply rooted in the ideals of democracy. More than a decade later, we remember the lives that were lost on that horrific day and the first responders who risked everything to save innocent victims.
"We also honor the men and women in uniform who have given their lives or sustained injuries in the defense of freedom," she said. "Today is a day to recognize the strength of the American spirit and the continued vigilance of the service members who put their lives on the line to protect it. We are forever indebted to our military men and women for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make on a daily basis."
U.S. Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va., said the feeling of loss and sadness for the horrific scenes or the pride and patriotism that brought the nation together should not be forgotten.
"Today we remember the day 12 years ago, when nearly 3,000 innocent Americans lost their life in an act of unspeakable evil," he said. "We think of the loved ones the victims left behind, the first responders who answered the call and troops who have kept us safe since that day.
"Though we are now more than a decade removed from that day, we must never forget that the cost of freedom is high and there are still many in the world who would do us harm. As a nation today is a day of remembrance."
"We should also take time to pause and honor the fallen heroes in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., and remember those family members who lost their loved ones," McKinley said.