September 11, 2001 : Attack on America
Congressional Record House - Terrorist Victims Flag Memorial Resolution of 2001; September 14, 2001

TERRORIST VICTIMS FLAG MEMORIAL RESOLUTION OF 2001 -- (House of Representatives - September 14, 2001)

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Mr. NEY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that the Committee on House Administration be discharged from further consideration of the resolution (H.Res. 239), providing Capitol-flown flags to each surviving victim, and the family of each deceased victim, of the terrorist attacks which occurred on September 11, 2001, and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the title of the resolution.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Ohio?

Mr. BAIRD. Mr. Speaker, reserving the right to object, I yield to the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. Ney) for an explanation of the resolution.

Mr. NEY. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, this bill is here on behalf of the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), the ranking member of the Committee on House Administration, and myself.

This resolution would authorize funds for the provisions of flags that have been flown over the great Capitol to the surviving victims and the families of those who lost their lives in the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

Pursuant to this resolution, those who were injured or lost a loved one in these hideous attacks would be entitled to receive, at no cost, the United States flag. I believe all Members will agree that provisions of the flag, what we believe in the flag as a symbol of our country and to give that is the least we can do to show our support for those tragically affected by these barbaric acts.

[Time: 01:50]

Mr. Speaker, as we stand here tonight, behind you is our flag, which is the greatest symbol of our country. And as we have the energetic give and take of public debate on the floor of this Chamber to do our duty, to represent freedom, to represent our constituents and our very American way of life, we recognize, I know, that we could not be here to have our debates and our agreements and our disagreements if it were not for the veterans of our country, who from the beginning of our revolution up through today, as our military stands ready always, as our troops are overseas in situations that put them in harm's way, and we always know through all of this that the colors do not run on that flag and neither have our veterans.

I mention the veterans because they are so important to us. Mr. Speaker, I believe also we should mention that we realize that somewhere in this tragic amount of individuals who have lost their lives, there are veterans; but we also recognize in fact that there are nonveterans that have also in fact lost their lives. And it is fitting that those targeted, whether veterans or nonveterans, should receive in tribute the symbol of our great Nation, the American flag, that has been flown across the United States Capitol, the structure that houses our great institutions of democracy.

Tragically, the victims of this savage attack are numerous. Though there are many victims, each should be honored. Every single one of them. This resolution will permit Members to show that they, this Congress, and our country mourn the loss deeply of our fellow citizens and we are in solidarity with those that have had the ultimate price

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of their lives taken away from them and we are in deepest sympathy with their families.

It has long be been the law of this Nation and of our land that when a veteran dies their family receives a flag. All those who died and were injured on September 11, 2001, again may have not been in our armed services, but they all assuredly were casualties of war, and they should be recognized as such. I hope all Members will join me in passing this resolution.

Mr. BAIRD. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Speaker, I want to thank the distinguished gentleman from Ohio and the gentleman from Maryland for introducing this legislation. And, parenthetically, I would like to thank them both for their support of recent efforts to counsel the staff and other Members of this body to help them deal with the events surrounding the tragedy of Tuesday.

Mr. Speaker, on Tuesday, two great symbols of the United States were attacked along with thousands of our countrymen. When the symbols of the World Trade Center fell, that collapse took with it the lives of thousands of innocent men, women, young children, and senior citizens. We have grieved since that time; and in our grief other symbols have risen up to demonstrate our solidarity with the victims, and those symbols are those familiar stars and stripes of the American flag. As those symbols have risen, they have lifted the human spirits of our population.

It is one of the tragedies of events like this that the fire and the degree of destruction will tragically not leave remains even for the loved ones who are left behind. They will be left with memories. They will be left with horrifying images, with photographs; but they will not have even the bodies, in many cases, of their loved ones to cherish. But this body today has an opportunity to give at least something to the survivors and the families, and that something is something very precious. It is an American flag. It is a flag that will have been flown over this Capitol, a Capitol that stands for the entire world as a symbol itself, a symbol of freedom.

As we look up each day in the weeks to come and we see the flags symbolizing that freedom over this building, we can know, and the families of the victims can know, that those flags stand for them, they stand for future generations, and they stand for the best this country has to offer.

With this resolution, the Congress is authorizing the giving of those flags to the survivors' families from this terrible accident; and it is our hope, however small the gesture may seem, that in some small way those flags can lift the spirits of the families as they have lifted the spirits of the Nation for many years past and for years to come.

I commend the authors of this legislation. I encourage all Americans to fly their own flags over their homes and businesses, and I hope that in some small way this bill and the flags that will be given to the families will help carry them through this difficult time, just as the flags have helped carry our Nation through many past challenges and crises.

Mr. NEY. Mr. Speaker, will the gentleman yield?

Mr. BAIRD. Further reserving the right to object, I yield to the gentleman from Ohio.

Mr. NEY. Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to point out, and I would be remiss if I did not do this, that though we have authored this resolution, myself and the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. Hoyer), I want to note that this tremendous idea, this tremendous gesture, this move by this Congress to help communicate with these families that we do care that they paid the ultimate price, was the idea of the gentleman from Washington. He brought it to us. And I just wanted to commend the gentleman for bringing this idea. Although we have authored it, we really appreciate the thoughtfulness of the gentleman in proposing this.

Mr. BAIRD. Mr. Speaker, I withdraw my reservation of objection.

The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Shimkus). Is there objection to the request of the gentleman from Ohio?

There was no objection.

The Clerk read the resolution, as follows:

H. Res. 239



This resolution may be cited as the ``Terrorist Victims Flag Memorial Resolution of 2001''.



(1) IN GENERAL.--At the request of a surviving victim, or the family of a deceased victim, of the terrorist attacks which occurred on September 11, 2001, the Representative of such victim or family may provide the victim or family with a Capitol-flown flag, not to exceed one flag per victim or family, together with the certificate described in paragraph (4).

(2) EFFECTIVE DATE.--Paragraph (1) shall take effect on the date on which the Committee on House Administration approves the regulations issued by the Clerk of the House of Representatives under subsection (b).

(3) COST.--Flags shall be provided at no cost to the victims or their families. Such funds as may be necessary for the administration of this program, including the purchase and delivery of flags provided pursuant to this resolution, are hereby authorized to be appropriated from the applicable accounts of the House of Representatives.

(4) CERTIFICATE DESCRIBED.--The certificate described in this paragraph is a certificate which is signed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Representatives providing the flag, and which reads as follows: ``This flag has been flown over the United States Capitol, in memory of those who perished, and to honor those who were injured, as a result of the terrorist attacks which occurred on September 11, 2001. It is presented to the surviving victims, and the families of those who lost their lives, with profound sorrow on behalf of the United States House of Representatives.''.


(1) IN GENERAL.--Not later than 30 days after the date of adoption of this resolution, the Clerk shall issue regulations for carrying out this resolution, including regulations to establish procedures (including any appropriate forms, guidelines, and accompanying certificates) for requesting a Capitol-flown flag.

(2) APPROVAL BY COMMITTEE ON HOUSE ADMINISTRATION.--The regulations issued by the Clerk under paragraph (1) shall take effect upon approval by the Committee on House Administration.

(c) APPLICABILITY.--This resolution shall only apply to victims of the terrorist attacks which occurred in the United States on September 11, 2001.

(d) DEFINITIONS.--In this resolution--

(1) the term ``Capitol-flown flag'' means a United States flag flown over the United States Capitol in honor of the deceased or surviving victim for whom such flag is requested;

(2) the term ``Representative'' includes a Delegate or Resident Commissioner to the Congress; and

(3) the term ``victim'' means a person who lost his or her life in, or due to, the attacks of September 11, 2001, or who sustained physical injury due to the attacks, but does not include the aircraft hijackers and any other person determined to have taken part in those attacks.

The resolution was agreed to.

A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.


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