Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Leader, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill.
"True heroes are all around us. Each day hundreds of people impact our communities, touch lives, and generate immense positive change. This week I was fortunate to spend time with several of our heroes and recognize their actions.
"Last Saturday, I had the honor of presenting the Military Hero award at the Kern County Red Cross Heroes dinner. It was a pleasure to spend time with Julio Torres, this year’s recipient, who served in the Marines for 12 years, and now helps fellow veterans suffering from PTSD regain their independence by pairing them with trained service dogs. Torres’ efforts have played a critical role in alleviating symptoms of PTSD and have helped numerous veterans gain a new lease on life. Torres, and all of those recognized by the Red Cross, have made our community a better place through their selfless acts of courage and humanitarian service.
"Another highlight of my week was welcoming a piece of the World Trade Center to Bakersfield. The arrival served as a reminder of the strength of our country and how in times of crisis we always come together – not as Republicans, Democrats, or Independents, but as Americans. It was special to see our local police, firefighters, and others drive alongside the steel beam as it made its way through downtown. The six-and-a-half-ton beam traveled nearly 3,000 miles from New York and will be used for a 9/11 memorial between the Bakersfield Fire Department Fire Station and the Police Department substation at 1315 Buena Vista Road.
"It was an emotional scene as all of us in attendance took a moment to reflect on one of the darkest days in American history. It's hard to believe fifteen years have passed, but I will never forget the response of the men, women and children in our community and in every community across the nation. We were overwhelmed with emotion, but while we mourned, we chose courage and we chose unity over division. And America was at its best.
"That is why we never forget the fallen and the first responders who rushed into the rubble in search of survivors, including our own first responders from Kern County who flew to Washington to help at the Pentagon. We also must never forget the important role first responders play in our daily lives. Their work takes place every day often with little fanfare.
"I urge everyone in our community to take a moment and thank our local heroes who without fail, endure danger and challenges every day to keep us safe.