HAWAII: Today, the two candidates for Hawaii’s open U.S. Senate seat released statements on the anniversary of the September 11th tragedy.

From former Governor Linda Lingle:

“Eleven years ago, our lives came to a standstill on the morning of September 11th. In the wake of the tragic attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines Flight 93, our world seemed to become a colder, darker place.

However, all Americans drew inspiration from the incredible men and women like the first responders who laid their lives on the line that fateful morning. We stood united and bravely sent a message to terrorists around the world: we will not be broken.

The attacks of 9/11 have certainly changed our lives forever. Our resolve in the aftermath of the horrific acts of terror showed the strong bond we have for each other, especially when it matters most. And, this bond reinforced to the world that our strength lies in our unity as Americans.

I encourage everyone to reserve a moment of time today to think back to this day in history, paying respect to the thousands of our fellow citizens who lost their lives that fateful day.

As we remember back to that tragic day, and our resolve in the days and years following ‘9/11’, I am thankful for the unwavering American spirit in all of us, and the bastion of freedom and democracy our nation maintains to this day.”

From her Democratic opponent Mazie Hirono, who also acknowledged the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Iniki:

“September 11th is an especially solemn day here in Hawaii as we remember both the devastation and lives lost in 1992 and 2001. In the immediate aftermath of both Hurricane Iniki and the terrorist attacks, neighbors and strangers joined first-responders to help those injured and save lives. And, in the days that followed each tragedy, communities came together to offer support and start the long, hard process of cleaning up and rebuilding.

Today, 20 years after Hurricane Iniki struck our state, the island that was most affected is a completely different place because of the people who worked together at the local, state and federal levels to rebuild Kauai. Now, Kauai is among the most resilient and well-prepared islands with a stronger, more sustainable economy – it has reemerged as a place that few could have imagined in the wake of the hurricane. The 1992 hurricane that devastated parts of our state showed that we are one people, especially in times of need.

The 2001 terrorist attacks showed the world a similar quality – the unthinkable toll in lives lost and damage caused didn’t stop our nation from unifying as one people. We have since worked together to rebuild and ensure that our country is better protected from terrorist threats.

While we will always remember the devastation that occurred on September 11, 1992 and 2001, we have emerged from each tragedy as a stronger state and nation.”