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Governor And State's Congressional Delegation Express Shock

Reaction from elected officials on the terrorist attacks

With one clear voice, political leaders representing the state of Washington described their feelings following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

In remarks at a Sept. 12 memorial in Puyallup, Gov. Gary Locke pledged that our society would recover from its pain.

"As a nation, we are wounded," Locke said. "But in the words of Lincoln, we will bind up our nation's wounds with the strength and the resolve of our people and emerge even stronger and more determined."

Both of Washington's U.S. Senators, Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell, who were in Washington, D.C., at the time of the attack, expressed their horror.

"Yesterday, I was in a meeting here in the Capitol when I looked out the window and saw something I will never forget: I saw black clouds of smoke filling the sky over the Pentagon," Sen. Murray said. "Yesterday, terrorists attacked our country, our financial center, our military headquarters, and our sense of security ... But today we see something else. We see a country that has come together. We see a government that speaks with one voice to denounce terrorism. And we see people who have volunteered to search the rubble, to help the injured, and to donate blood."

Sen. Cantwell said the attack was an attack on all of us.

"Every American was wounded in yesterday's attack, because it was an attack on our freedom and fundamental values as a people," Cantwell said.

Cantwell pledged to stand behind the president as he does "what is necessary to demonstrate to all the world that terrorism against our nation will not be tolerated."

U.S. Rep. Brian Baird vowed that the United States would find and punish the terrorists.

"These hateful actions will not go unanswered," Baird said. "Our nation will stand together, we will fight back, and we will win," Baird said. "I support the president and our military in this time of crisis. As Americans, we can take an important step this moment to show the world that our nation is not demoralized by these acts. I call on every American to display a flag in front of their home and their business as a symbol of unity. Those who believe they can tear at the fabric of our nation with terror must know that we stand more united, more assured, and more ready to promote democratic values in this century and the next."

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