Alongside millions of other Americans, I am reminded each year on Sept. 11th of the tragic events that will forever be remembered in our country’s history and the nearly 3,000 innocent lives we lost that day.

My thoughts and prayers will always be with those who were affected by these harrowing events.

In the days following, we saw the resilience of our country. We lost moms, dads, uncles, aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers, cousins, mentors, neighbors, and friends.

We lost seven Oklahomans. All were heroes to someone and all are honored as such. In what may have been our nation’s darkest hour, Americans stood united on a day that would mark the beginning of a long battle against evil.

Terrorism has no place in our country or in our society. That sentiment is as clear today as it was on Sept. 12th. Our nation boasts a thriving democracy, free and fair elections, the freedom of speech and religion, and a powerful military to defend the United States against those who wish to do our citizens harm.

Just three days after the attacks, President George W. Bush stood at Ground Zero and declared to the rescue workers around him: “I can hear you! The world can hear you…and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

Our rallying cry to the rest of the world was heard loud and clear: We will not be silent in the face of evil.

Since that day 16 years ago, more than 6,800 members of the U.S. military have given their lives in the fight against terrorism. What is unique about this war is that all of our efforts have taken place on their soil, not on ours. After Sept. 11, 2001, we vowed to defeat evil abroad while continuing to maintain a strong defense here at home.

As we honor Sept. 11th this year, we have to remember why we continue the fight against terrorism. The fight is not over.

To this day, our dedicated soldiers carry on. Our men and women in uniform need our prayers and our support because 16 years ago this week, we promised as a nation to pay tribute to the lives lost in the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and aboard Flight 93 by defending our country against evil.

Together as a nation, our work overseas fighting terror continues because we will Never Forget.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-Okla.) represents the second district in the U.S. House of Representatives. He can be reached through http://mullin.house.gov, and at 3109 Azalea Park Drive, Muskogee, OK, 74401, 918-687-2533 or 202-225-2701