Commander in Chief Credits Troops With Terror War Advances
By Donna Miles
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Mar. 8, 2005 American servicemembers are undertaking difficult missions in some of the most dangerous and desolate parts of the world in support of the war on terror, their commander in chief said today.
"These volunteers know the risk they face, and they know the cause they serve," President Bush said during a speech at the National Defense University on Fort McNair here.
"As one Marine sergeant put it," the president said, "'I never want my children to experience what we saw in New York, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania.
"'If I can eliminate whatever threat we can on foreign soil, I would rather do it there than have it come home to us.'"
The cost of this dedication is high, Bush acknowledged. "In this vital cause, some of our men and women in uniform have fallen. Some have returned home with terrible injuries," he said. "And all who sacrifice will have the permanent gratitude of the United States of America."
America's military is serving "at a time of great consequence for the security of our nation," the president said.
He called the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, "the culmination of decades of escalating violence" that provided "a warning of future dangers." These, he said, include terror networks aided by outlaw regimes, ideologies that incite murder, and weapons of mass destruction with the potential to kill millions.
Just as it did after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor six decades ago, the United States rallied after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 and has steadily moved against those that threaten it, Bush said.
"Like an earlier generation, America is answering new dangers with firm resolve," the president said. "No matter how long it takes, no matter how difficult the task, we will fight the enemy and lift the shadow of fear and lead free nations to victory."