Today's Military Takes Lessons From WWII Generation
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Dec. 7, 2001 President Bush told the sailors and Marines of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise that they are the new defenders of freedom during ceremonies commemorating the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, 60 years ago.
"What happened at Pearl Harbor was the start of a long and terrible war for America," Bush told the crew of the ship in Norfolk, Va. "Yet out of that surprise attack grew a steadfast resolve that made America freedom's defender. And that mission, our great calling, continues to this hour as the brave men and women of our military fight the forces of terror in Afghanistan and around the world."
The Enterprise returned to Norfolk last month after participating in operations against the Taliban and Al Qaeda terrorist network in Afghanistan.
Bush said the surprise attack on the American base in Hawaii galvanized America. "During four years of war, no one doubted the rightness of our cause; no one wavered in the quest for victory," he said. "As a result of the efforts and sacrifice of the veterans who are with us today and millions like them, the world was saved from tyranny.
"Many of you in today's Navy are the children and grandchildren of the generation that fought and won the Second World War," he continued. "Now your calling has come. Each one of you is commissioned by history to face freedom's enemies."
The Enterprise sailed from Norfolk in April. "We were a nation at peace," Bush said. "All that changed on the morning of September the 11th. You were among the first to fight in the first war of the 21st century. You were ready. You performed with skill and honor. And you have made your nation proud."
Bush said terrorism is an ideology that respects no boundary of nationality or decency. He said terrorists want to concentrate power in the hands of a few individuals who will make the rest conform to their standards.
"They celebrate death, making a mission of murder and a sacrament of suicide," he said. "Yet, for some reason, only young followers are ushered down this deadly path to paradise while terrorist leaders run into caves to save their own hides."
The president said the terrorists are the heirs to fascism the United States defeated in World War II. "They have the same will to power, the same disdain for the individual, the same mad global ambitions," he said. "And they will be dealt with in just the same way."
He said free nations cannot appease terrorists; free nations must defeat them. "This struggle will not end in a truce or a treaty. It will end in victory for the United States, our friends and for the cause of freedom!" Bush said.
The president the Norfolk audience that he would detail the new capabilities and technologies the military needs to fight and win these new wars.
"We'll need the intelligence to find the enemy where he dwells, and the means to strike swiftly across the world," he said. "We must have a military organized for decisive and total victory. And to you, the men and women of our military, I make this pledge: You'll have every resource, every weapon, every tool you need to win the long battle that lies ahead."