"Today, along with all Americans and Oklahomans, we pause to remember the thousands of lives lost eight years ago at the hands of a group of fanatical terrorists determined to compromise freedom and jeopardize the American way of life," Inhofe said. "September 11th, 2001 was a devastatingly sad but pivotal moment in American history. We mourned the tragic loss of innocent lives but we also witnessed a new American resolve emerge. It is no coincidence that we have not experienced another major terrorist attack since 9/11. We have our men and women in uniform, our intelligence community, and our law enforcement officials to thank for that. Because President Bush was willing to aggressively respond to those that seek to do us harm, we have successfully taken the fight to the enemy. In order to keep this nation safe, we must invest in our national security and continue to pursue policies that keep us committed, determined, and vigilant in defeating the enemy. The terrorists have not relented with their disdain for America. Therefore, we cannot relent in defending this country. "
Inhofe continued, "Since 9/11, well over 1 million men and women of our Armed Forces have deployed to Afghanistan, Iraq and other contentious spots across the globe to take a stand against terrorism and to defend our nation against the type of extremism we witnessed on 9/11. Make no mistake, we are still a nation at war with men and women on the front lines of freedom and must never forget the ultimate sacrifices that have been made."
In early October 2001, just days after the 9/11 attacks, American military forces launched strikes against Taliban and al Qaeda forces in Afghanistan. October 2009 marks eight years of sustained combat with over 200,000 members of the American Armed Forces deployed in support of the War on Terror.