President Reflects on 9/11 in Weekly Radio Address
By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Sep. 11, 2004 President Bush remembered the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States in his weekly radio address today, and vowed to continue the fight against those who threaten freedom.
"Three years ago, the struggle of good against evil was compressed into a single morning," the president said. "In the space of only 102 minutes, our country lost more citizens than were lost in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Time has passed, but the memories do not fade. We remember the images of fire, and the final calls of love, and the courage of rescuers who saw death and did not flee."
The nation remembers "the cruelty of enemies who murdered the innocent and rejoiced in our suffering," he continued, and "the many good lives that ended too soon -- which no one had the right to take."
Bush praised terror victims' families, who he said "have shown a strength that survives all hurt." Affirming the nation's commitment to protecting against future attacks, the president noted the daily work of "many thousands of dedicated men and women" on homeland security duty and those in the intelligence community working "to see dangers around the next corner."
"Our country is grateful to all our fellow citizens who watch for the enemy, and answer the alarms, and guard America by their vigilance," he said.
The president vowed to stay on the offensive and "to pursue the terrorists wherever they train, or sleep, or attempt to set down roots."
"We have conducted this campaign from the mountains of Afghanistan, to the heart of the Middle East, to the horn of Africa, to the islands of the Philippines, to hidden cells within our own country," he said. "More than three-quarters of al Qaeda's key members and associates have been detained or killed. We know that there is still a danger to America. So we will not relent until the terrorists who plot murder against our people are found and dealt with."
Advancing democracy in the Middle East, Bush said, is important to peace and security. "When the peoples of that region are given new hope and lives of dignity, they will let go of old hatreds and resentments, and the terrorists will find fewer recruits," he said. "And as governments of that region join in the fight against terror instead of harboring terrorists, America and the world will be more secure.
Acknowledging that the work under way in Iraq and Afghanistan is difficult, Bush said it also is "historic and essential."
"By our commitment and sacrifice today, we will help transform the Middle East, and increase the safety of our children and grandchildren," he said. He noted that military people and their families have borne the heaviest burden of sacrifices in the war on terror.
"Our nation is grateful to the brave men and women who are taking risks on our behalf at this hour," the president said. "And America will never forget the ones who have fallen -- men and women last seen doing their duty, whose names we will honor forever."
Bush noted that the war on terror continues, and he praised the character of the American people. "Three years after the attack on our country, Americans remain strong and resolute, patient in a just cause, and confident of the victory to come," he said.