Mr. Speaker, heroes and servants of our country come in all shapes and sizes. Sept. 11, 2001 is one of those days that will live in infamy. The shameful attack of that morning, as President Bush noted in his address, was meant to frighten our nation. But we did not descend into chaos and retreat.
September 12 was a day that saw our country united and resolved. A helping hand was extended by individuals and organizations from all across this nation. We all came together, and in doing so we won the first battle of the war on terror. The men responsible for that attack wanted to shake the foundations of America, but in the wake of the disaster we demonstrated the power of our country, e pluribus unum, in full glory.
An example of that glory manifested can be found in Texas Task Force One, which came over 1600 miles to lend a hand in the search for survivors. One invaluable member of that force was Bretagne (pronounced Britney), a rescue dog of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department in Cypress, Texas.
She helped members of the rescue team search the rubble of the World Trade Center. It is important that we show tribute to all, even the four-legged soldiers. Sixteen year old Bretagne, a golden retriever from Cypress, Texas, was the last living search and rescue dog who worked at Ground Zero after the 9/ 11 terrorist attacks.
She recently passed away at age 16. She was a beloved member of the team, and we are grateful for her service to this country. She first became a rescue dog in 2000, at the Cy-Fair Fire Department. Bretagne not only aided the heroes of 9/11, but also located and rescued hundreds of citizens after natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. When in Houston, Bretagne visited elementary schools, as a symbol to the children that courage doesn’t just have one face.
To the despair of the Cypress community that so loved and adored her, brave little Bretagne’s health declined. Her years of loyal service and devotion to the American people began to take a toll, and the veterinarians were given no choice but to put her down. She was given the hero’s salute by the fire department just the other day, as she made her last walk into the office. I too salute you, Bretagne, and all other surviving heroes of 9/ 11. Our nation deeply thanks all of you.
And that is just the way it is.