Greater Austin Crime Commission hosts 20th annual 9/11 Memorial

Ahead of the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Greater Austin Crime Commission hosted a memorial breakfast at The Austin Club on Friday.

The event was titled, "Twenty Years Later: What Have We Learned?" and featured two speakers that have dedicated their lives to promoting national security - retired Navy Admiral Bobby Inman and U.S. Rep. Michael McCaul.

McCaul currently serves on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and past roles include chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security and member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Rep. McCaul and Adm. Inman reflected on the events of Sept. 11, 2001, along with the past two decades. "We’ve learned a lot since then," said Rep. McCaul. "We’ve stopped a lot of bad things from happening over the last 20 years."

They also discussed the recent chain of events in the Middle East.

"I worry about the consequences of the way we left Afghanistan," said Adm. Inman. "I think I’m with the great majority that are glad we’re out, but the way we executed it is going to encourage those who did us harm."

The Taliban regained control in August after U.S. troops officially withdrew from the region.

"What I fear the most is tomorrow, on the 20th anniversary of 9/11, the Taliban having an inaugural ceremony celebrating their victory over the United States of America and raising the Taliban flag over our U.S. Embassy," said Rep. McCaul. "To me, it’s dishonorable, it’s disgraceful and it didn’t have to happen this way."

Regardless of the current state of affairs and opinions surrounding it, Rep. McCaul had a message on Friday for those that have served our country.

"On this day what I want to tell all veterans is thank you for your service, it did count for something," he said. "You kept this country safe for 20 years from a large-scale, 9/11-style attack."

Rep. McCaul said they will be discussing the path forward when Sec. of State Antony Blinken testifies in front of his committee on Monday. 

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