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Bush Lauds American Spirit on Eve of Sept. 11 Anniversary

By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 10, 2005 – On the day before the nation observes the fourth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and as recovery efforts continue along the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast, President Bush praised the American spirit today in his weekly radio address.

The president said that as night fell on Sept. 11, 2001, the nation felt grief and sorrow. "Yet we also saw that, while the terrorists could kill the innocent, they could not defeat the spirit of our nation," Bush said.

"The despair and tragedy of that day were overcome by displays of selflessness, courage and compassion. And in the days and weeks that followed, America answered history's call to bring justice to our enemies and to ensure the survival and success of liberty. And that mission continues today."

As the anniversary of the attacks approaches, the nation remembers the fears and uncertainty of Sept. 11, Bush noted. "But above all," he added, "we remember the resolve of our nation to defend our freedom, rebuild a wounded city, and care for our neighbors in need."

The president also spoke of the destruction and misery caused in Gulf Coast states by Hurricane Katrina. "Once more our hearts ache for our fellow citizens, and many are left with questions about the future," he said. "Yet we are again being reminded that adversity brings out the best in the American spirit.

He said citizens have witnessed "the courage and determination of rescue personnel who willingly risk their lives to save the lives of others."

"We have seen the spirit of America's armies of compassion who have rallied in response to this tragedy," Bush noted.

He urged Americans to visit the USA Freedom Corps Web site at usafreedomcorps.gov to find out how they can help in the recovery effort. "The citizens of the Gulf Coast can count on their fellow Americans in this time of trial, and their government is standing with them, as well," he said.

The nation's collective spirit is good cause for hope, the president said. "Our greatest resource in such times is the compassionate character of the American people, because even the most destructive storm cannot weaken the heart and soul of our nation," he said. "America will overcome this ordeal, and we will be stronger for it.

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