A Texas Republican congressman took to the House floor Friday to reflect on the five Dallas police officers shot the night before by sniper fire and how law enforcement has been disrespected and attacked before in our history.
The day after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, there was so much tragedy and sadness, but instead of fighting each other, we come together, said Rep. Louie Gohmert (R.-Texas), who at times during his address seemed to become overcome with emotion as he discussed his memories of that time and the challenges faced by law enforcement today.
“There were no hyphenated Americans on Sept. 12, 2001, we were Americans,” Gohmert said. “We had just been Americans under attack and we wanted to stand together.”
It was a positive time, he said.
“For about three months all of our churches were filled,” he said. “Nobody from organizations like Freedom From Religion showed their face that day because people across America were begging God for his protection and for his blessings.”
Gohmert said he is upset by the treatment of police officers and it brought up other memories of how police officers in the 1960s were called “pigs” and were constantly taunted and threatened with “kill the pigs” chants.”Back then, it wasn’t a race issue, it was just about killing pigs.”
Now, those terrorists have grown up and are teaching at colleges, he said.
Americans cannot go back to those days, he said.
In his own life, the congressman said he experienced public resentment as a soldier in the post-Vietnam War Army of the 1970s. “We knew what it was like to be spit at, to be ridiculed and at times told not to wear your uniform off-post because people hate you so much.”
The congressman said that when he was a district judge in Texas, he tried a 10-week murder trial in Dallas and there he met and worked with many of the local police officers.
“I continue to have great respect for them,” he said.