Highlights from Bush’s Speech

Following are highlights of President George W. Bush’s remarks Thursday, November 7, 2002 at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta:
We meet tonight after two of the most difficult and most inspiring months in our nation’s history. We have endured the shock of watching so many innocent lives ended in acts of unimaginable horror. We have endured the sadness of so many funerals. We have faced unprecedented bioterrorist attack delivered in our mail.
Tonight, many thousands of children are tragically learning to live without one of their parents. And the rest of us are learning to live in a world that seems very different than it was on September the 10th.
The moment the second plane hit the second building, when we knew it was a terrorist attack, many felt that our lives would never be the same.
What we couldn’t be sure of then and what the terrorists never expected was that America would emerge stronger with a renewed spirit of pride and patriotism.
Americans have responded magnificently with courage and caring. We’ve seen it in our children who have sent in more than $1 million for the children of Afghanistan. We have seen it in the compassion of Jewish and Christian Americans who have reached out to their Muslim neighbors. We’ve seen it as Americans have reassessed priorities: parents spending more time with their children and many people spending more time in prayer and in houses of worship.
We have gained new heroes, those who ran into burning buildings to save others: our police and our firefighters.
We are a different country than we were on September the 10th, sadder and less innocent, stronger and more united. And in the face of ongoing threats, determined and courageous.
Our nation faces a threat to our freedoms, and the stakes could not be higher. We are the target of enemies who boast they want to kill: kill all Americans, kill all Jews and kill all Christians.
We’ve seen that type of hate before, and the only possible response is to confront it and to defeat it.
This new enemy seeks to destroy our freedom and impose its views. We value life; the terrorists ruthlessly destroy it.
We value education; the terrorists do not believe women should be educated, or should have health care, or should leave their homes.
We value the right to speak our minds; for the terrorists, free expression can be grounds for execution.
We respect people of all faiths and welcome the free practice of religion; our enemy wants to dictate how to think and how to worship, even to their fellow Muslims.
This enemy tries to hide behind a peaceful faith. But those who celebrate the murder of innocent men, women and children have no religion, have no conscience and have no mercy.
We wage a war to save civilization itself.
We are a welcoming country. We will always value freedom, yet we will not allow those who plot against our country to abuse our freedoms and our protections.
Our enemies have threatened other acts of terror. We take each threat seriously. And when we have evidence of credible threats, we will issue appropriate alerts.
A terrorism alert is not a signal to stop your life. It is a call to be vigilant, to know that your government is on high alert and to add your eyes and ears to our efforts to find and stop those who want to do us harm.
A lot of people are working really hard to protect America, but in the long run, the best way to defend our homeland, the best way to make sure our children can live in peace, is to take the battle to the enemy and to stop them.

I have called our military into action to hunt down the members of the Al Qaeda organization who murdered innocent Americans. I gave fair warning to the government that harbors them in Afghanistan. The Taliban made a choice to continue hiding terrorists and now they’re paying a price.

Throughout this battle, we adhere to our values. Unlike our enemy, we respect life. We do not target innocent civilians.
We care for the innocent people of Afghanistan, so we continue to provide humanitarian aid, even while their government tries to steal the food we send.
Our people have responded with courage and compassion, calm and reason, resolve and fierce determination. We have refused to live in a state of panic or a state of denial.
There is a difference between being alert and being intimidated, and this great nation will never be intimidated.
People are going about their daily lives, working and shopping and playing, worshiping at churches and synagogues and mosques, going to movies and to baseball games.
Since September the 11th, many Americans, especially young Americans, are rethinking their career choices. They are being drawn to careers of service as police or firemen, emergency health workers, teachers, counselors or in the military. And this is good for America.
Many ask, “What can I do to help in our fight?” The answer is simple. All of us can become a September the 11th volunteer by making a commitment to service in our own communities. So you can serve your country by tutoring or mentoring a child, comforting the afflicted, housing those in need of shelter and a home.
Our great nation — national challenge is to hunt down the terrorists and strengthen our protection against future attacks. Our great national opportunity is to preserve forever the good that has resulted. Through this tragedy, we are renewing and reclaiming our strong American values.
Ours is a wonderful nation full of kind and loving people, people of faith who want freedom and opportunity for people everywhere. One way to defeat terrorism is to show the world the true values of America through the gathering momentum of a million acts of responsibility and decency and service.
We all have new responsibilities. Our government has the responsibility to hunt down our enemies, and we will. Our government has the responsibility to put needless partisanship behind us and meet new challenges: better security for our people and help for those who have lost jobs and livelihoods in the attacks that claimed so many lives.
I made some proposals to stimulate economic growth, which will create new jobs and make America less dependent on foreign oil.
And I ask Congress to work hard and put a stimulus plan into law to help the American people.
Above all, we will live in a spirit of courage and optimism. Our nation was born in that spirit, as immigrants yearning for freedom courageously risked their lives in search of greater opportunity.
Courage and optimism led the passengers on Flight 93 to rush their murderers to save lives on the ground.
.. led by a young man whose last known words were the Lord’s Prayer and, “Let’s roll.”
He didn’t know he had signed on for heroism when he boarded the plane that day.
Some of our greatest moments have been acts of courage for which no one could have ever prepared.
We will always remember the words of that brave man expressing the spirit of a great country. We will never forget all we have lost and all we are fighting for.
We cannot know every turn this battle will take, yet we know our cause is just and our ultimate victory is assured. We will no doubt face new challenges, but we have our marching orders.
My fellow Americans, let’s roll.

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