For many local politicians, the fifth anniversary of Sept. 11 this week drew emotions of sadness, anger, determination and pride in the country.
"Our enemies may plot evil acts against us, but no act of terror will ever crush the American spirit," Sen. Saxby Chambliss said. "America has a long and proud history of determination and success that has always prevailed over every threat and battle. The broad stripes and bright starts of Old Glory show no weakness and continue to wave brightly across this great land. Today, more than ever, we must continue to honor those who have died in the name of freedom."
As a member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services and Intelligence committees, Chambliss said he believes the country is safer in the five years since the attacks, and he gives credit to President George W. Bush for that.
"President Bush has had the toughest job of any president in our generation, and I believe he did the right thing in taking this battle to the terrorists," he said. "Under his direction, we successfully thwarted several terrorist plots and, in the five years since Sept. 11, 2001, additional attacks on American soil have been prevented."
Sen. Johnny Isakson agreed.
"There is no doubt that 9/11 was a wake-up call," he said. "I'm so proud of our president, our country and especially our men and women in the armed forces. It is important now more than ever that we continue our efforts against terrorism to protect our homeland and fight for freedom around the world."
Rep. John Linder said the country is more prepared, but, "the danger remains, and our resolve must remain strong."
When Allan Burns learned that planes had crashed into the twin towers in New York five years ago, he reacted like most Americans: He called his kids.
His three sons lived in the Big Apple, and he began frantically calling until he learned they were safe.
The Lawrenceville Democrat - who is running against Linder - said he is still searching for answers about the tragedy.
"It is the deeper reflection on the meaning of Sept. 11 that has raised questions for me that I am still searching for answers," he wrote in an e-mail. "What are the real motivations behind such a heinous act?"
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.