Bush: Victory in Terror War Will Honor 9/11 Victims
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 9, 2005 Winning the global war on terror is one way the United States can honor the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, President Bush today told families of public safety officers killed in the attacks.
Bush addressed the families at a White House ceremony, during which he presented the Medal of Valor award to surviving families of the fallen firefighters, police officers and other public safety officers. Congress created the award in 2004 to honor public safety officers killed on Sept. 11, a White House official said.
The ceremony was among commemorations taking place this weekend in Washington and around the country observing the fourth anniversary of the terrorist attacks that left more than 3,000 Americans dead.
The president linked that tragic day with the ongoing war on terror, vowing that the United States will continue to "take the fight to the enemy" and won't give up until the fight is won. "We will succeed," he promised.
"On September the 11th, 2001, we saw the future the terrorists intended for us, and I made a decision," the president said. "America will not wait to be attacked again. We will take the fight to the enemy, and we will defend our freedom."
To the cheers of the family members, Bush said, "And since that day, we've taken the fight to the enemy. We're hunting down the terrorists in mountains in Afghanistan, in tribal regions in Pakistan, in the deserts of Iraq and islands of Southeast Asia and the Horn of Africa."
As part of that effort, Bush said, the United States is continuing its effort to spread freedom around the world. "Free nations are peaceful nations," Bush said.
And although those killed on Sept. 11 didn't have the opportunity to see the results of that effort, Bush said future generations will. "We are laying the foundations of peace for our children and grandchildren," he said.
Earlier today, while swearing in Karen Hughes as the State Department's new undersecretary for public diplomacy, Bush focused on a common theme, noting that the world's civilized nations face a common enemy, one "that hates us because of the values we hold."
"The terrorists have a strategy," the president said. "They want to force those of us who love freedom to retreat, to pull back so they can topple governments in the Middle East and turn that region into a safe haven for terrorism."
Bush vowed that the terrorists won't succeed. "We're on a hunt for the terrorists. We are striking them in foreign lands before they can hurt our citizens again," he said.
He echoed sentiments expressed by British Prime Minister Tony Blair following the terrorist attacks in London. "We must not fight just the terrorists' methods, but also their views. Not just their barbaric acts, but also their barbaric ideas," he said. "In the long run, the only way to achieve lasting peace is to offer a hopeful alternative to the terrorist ideology of hatred and fear."
The president linked the challenges posed by war on terror and the ongoing recovery from Hurricane Katrina, and said the United States will overcome both. "America is a strong and resilient nation," Bush said. "Our people have the spirit, the resources and the determination to overcome any challenge."