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On 9/11, honoring bravery of 2012 attacks: Sean Duffy column

5:47 PM, Sep. 10, 2013  |  Comments
Sean Duffy
Sean Duffy
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Out of the tragedy of September 11, 2001, emerged stories of heroism that are the enduring memories of that day. Buildings fell and precious lives were lost, but the spirit of America did not falter.

One year ago, on September 11, 2012, a planned, coordinated and symbolic attack was carried out on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Four Americans died.

As in 2001, in the days that following the attack, stories of valor came to light. We learned of two former Marines and Navy SEALs who, while outgunned and outnumbered, manned their posts and defended our nation to their last breaths. A grateful nation remembers their sacrifice on the anniversary of their deaths.

Unfortunately, all the details from that night have yet to be disclosed, and despite the president's promise, no one has been brought to justice. Their families and America have a right to know what happened in Benghazi. Congress will continue to demand those answers, but in the meantime these men deserve the commendation of a grateful nation.

I am a cosponsor of legislation that would posthumously award the Congressional Gold Medal to Glen Doherty and Tyrone Woods, the Navy SEALs who gave their lives that day. This is the highest civilian award in the U.S. and is given to those who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and is likely to be recognized in the recipients' field long after. Forty-two of my colleagues currently support this legislation. It is my great hope that Congress will act on it. This medal honors their sacrifices and symbolizes our promise to never forget.

As we confront the uncertainty of a dangerous world, the line between our allies and our enemies is not always clear. We must remain vigilant at home and clearly define our security strategy abroad. Our military is full of heroes willing to risk their lives for our country, but we cannot ask parents to send their son or daughter into a battle without that clarity.

Tragedies do not define us as a nation. It is our response that shapes our story. We must remember the heroes who give us strength. In our hearts, the spirit of America is sound.

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