Text of President Bush's Address to Congress As Prepared for Delivery
WASHINGTON, Sept. 20, 2001 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is the text of President
Bush's address to Congress and the American people:
Mr. Speaker, Mr. President pro tempore, Members of Congress, and fellow Americans:
In the normal course of events, Presidents come to this chamber to report
on the state of the Union. Tonight, no such report is needed. It has already
been delivered by the American people.
We have seen it in the courage of passengers, who rushed terrorists to save
others on the ground -- passengers like an exceptional man named Todd
Beamer. Please help me to welcome his wife, Lisa Beamer, here tonight.
We have seen the state of our Union in the endurance of rescuers, working
past exhaustion. We have seen the unfurling of flags, the lighting of
candles, the giving of blood, the saying of prayers -- in English, Hebrew,
and Arabic. We have seen the decency of a loving and giving people, who have
made the grief of strangers their own.
My fellow citizens, for the last nine days, the entire world has seen for
itself the state of our Union -- and it is strong.
Tonight we are a country awakened to danger and called to defend freedom.
Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution. Whether we bring our
enemies to justice, or bring justice to our enemies, justice will be done.
I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time. All of
America was touched on the evening of the tragedy to see Republicans and
Democrats, joined together on the steps of this Capitol, singing "God Bless
America." And you did more than sing, you acted, by delivering forty billion
dollars to rebuild our communities and meet the needs of our military.
Speaker Hastert and Minority Leader Gephardt -- Majority Leader Daschle and
Senator Lott -- I thank you for your friendship and your leadership and your
service to our country.
And on behalf of the American people, I thank the world for its outpouring
of support. America will never forget the sounds of our National Anthem
playing at Buckingham Palace, and on the streets of Paris, and at Berlin's
Brandenburg Gate. We will not forget South Korean children gathering to pray
outside our embassy in Seoul, or the prayers of sympathy offered at a mosque
in Cairo. We will not forget moments of silence and days of mourning in
Australia and Africa and Latin America.
Nor will we forget the citizens of eighty other nations who died with our
own. Dozens of Pakistanis. More than 130 Israelis. More than 250 citizens of
India. Men and women from El Salvador, Iran, Mexico, and Japan. And hundreds
of British citizens. America has no truer friend than Great Britain. Once
again, we are joined together in a great cause. The British Prime Minister
has crossed an ocean to show his unity of purpose with America, and tonight
we welcome Tony Blair.
On September the eleventh, enemies of freedom committed an act of war
against our country. Americans have known wars -- but for the past 136
years, they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday in 1941.
Americans have known the casualties of war -- but not at the center of a
great city on a peaceful morning. Americans have known surprise attacks --
but never before on thousands of civilians. All of this was brought upon us
in a single day -- and night fell on a different world, a world where
freedom itself is under attack.
Americans have many questions tonight. Americans are asking: Who attacked
The evidence we have gathered all points to a collection of loosely
affiliated terrorist organizations known as al-Qaida. They are the same
murderers indicted for bombing American embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, and
responsible for the bombing of the U.S.S. Cole.
Al-Qaida is to terror what the mafia is to crime. But its goal is not
making money; its goal is remaking the world -- and imposing its radical
beliefs on people everywhere.
The terrorists practice a fringe form of Islamic extremism that has been
rejected by Muslim scholars and the vast majority of Muslim clerics -- a
fringe movement that perverts the peaceful teachings of Islam. The
terrorists' directive commands them to kill Christians and Jews, to kill all
Americans, and make no distinctions among military and civilians, including
women and children.
This group and its leader -- a person named Usama bin Ladin -- are linked to
many other organizations in different countries, including the Egyptian
Islamic Jihad and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.
There are thousands of these terrorists in more than sixty countries. They
are recruited from their own nations and neighborhoods, and brought to camps
in places like Afghanistan where they are trained in the tactics of terror.
They are sent back to their homes or sent to hide in countries around the
world to plot evil and destruction.
The leadership of al-Qaida has great influence in Afghanistan, and supports
the Taliban regime in controlling most of that country. In Afghanistan, we
see al-Qaida's vision for the world.
Afghanistan's people have been brutalized -- many are starving and many have
fled. Women are not allowed to attend school. You can be jailed for owning a
television. Religion can be practiced only as their leaders dictate. A man
can be jailed in Afghanistan if his beard is not long enough.
The United States respects the people of Afghanistan -- after all, we are
currently its largest source of humanitarian aid -- but we condemn the
Taliban regime. It is not only repressing its own people, it is threatening
people everywhere by sponsoring and sheltering and supplying terrorists. By
aiding and abetting murder, the Taliban regime is committing murder. And
tonight, the United States of America makes the following demands on the
Deliver to United States authorities all the leaders of al-Qaida who hide
in your land.
Release all foreign nationals -- including American citizens -- you have
unjustly imprisoned, and protect foreign journalists, diplomats, and aid
workers in your country.
Close immediately and permanently every terrorist training camp in
Afghanistan and hand over every terrorist, and every person in their support
structure, to appropriate authorities.
Give the United States full access to terrorist training camps, so we can
make sure they are no longer operating.
These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion. The Taliban must
act and act immediately. They will hand over the terrorists, or they will
share in their fate.
I also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims throughout the world: We
respect your faith. It is practiced freely by many millions of Americans,
and by millions more in countries that America counts as friends. Its
teachings are good and peaceful, and those who commit evil in the name of
Allah blaspheme the name of Allah. The terrorists are traitors to their own
faith, trying, in effect, to hijack Islam itself. The enemy of America is
not our many Muslim friends; it is not our many Arab friends. Our enemy is a
radical network of terrorists, and every government that supports them.
Our war on terror begins with al-Qaida, but it does not end there. It will
not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped,
Americans are asking: Why do they hate us?
They hate what we see right here in this chamber -- a democratically elected
government. Their leaders are self-appointed. They hate our freedoms -- our
freedom of religion, our freedom of speech, our freedom to vote and assemble
and disagree with each other.
They want to overthrow existing governments in many Muslim countries, such
as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. They want to drive Israel out of the
Middle East. They want to drive Christians and Jews out of vast regions of
Asia and Africa.
These terrorists kill not merely to end lives, but to disrupt and end a way
of life. With every atrocity, they hope that America grows fearful,
retreating from the world and forsaking our friends. They stand against us,
because we stand in their way.
We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind
before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the twentieth
century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions -- by
abandoning every value except the will to power -- they follow in the path
of fascism, and Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path
all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded
Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war?
We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy,
every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every
financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption
and defeat of the global terror network.
This war will not be like the war against Iraq a decade ago, with its
decisive liberation of territory and its swift conclusion. It will not look
like the air war above Kosovo two years ago, where no ground troops were
used and not a single American was lost in combat.
Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated
strikes. Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign,
unlike any other we have seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on
television, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve
terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place
to place, until there is no refuge or rest. And we will pursue nations that
provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now
has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the
terrorists. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or
support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
Our Nation has been put on notice: We are not immune from attack. We will
take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans.
Today, dozens of federal departments and agencies, as well as state and
local governments, have responsibilities affecting homeland security. These
efforts must be coordinated at the highest level. So tonight I announce the
creation of a Cabinet-level position reporting directly to me -- the Office
of Homeland Security.
These measures are essential. But the only way to defeat terrorism as a
threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where
Many will be involved in this effort, from FBI agents to intelligence
operatives to the reservists we have called to active duty. All deserve our
thanks, and all have our prayers. And tonight, a few miles from the damaged
Pentagon, I have a message for our military: Be ready. I have called the
armed forces to alert, and there is a reason. The hour is coming when
America will act, and you will make us proud.
This is not, however, just America's fight. And what is at stake is not
just America's freedom. This is the world's fight. This is civilization's
fight. This is the fight of all who believe in progress and pluralism,
tolerance and freedom.
We ask every nation to join us. We will ask, and we will need, the help of
police forces, intelligence services, and banking systems around the world.
The United States is grateful that many nations and many international
organizations have already responded -- with sympathy and with support.
Nations from Latin America, to Asia, to Africa, to Europe, to the Islamic
world. Perhaps the NATO Charter reflects best the attitude of the world: an
attack on one is an attack on all.
The civilized world is rallying to America's side. They understand that if
this terror goes unpunished, their own cities, their own citizens may be
next. Terror, unanswered, can not only bring down buildings, it can threaten
the stability of legitimate governments. And we will not allow it.
Americans are asking: What is expected of us?
I ask you to live your lives and hug your children. I know many citizens
have fears tonight, and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face
of a continuing threat.
I ask you to uphold the values of America, and remember why so many have
come here. We are in a fight for our principles, and our first
responsibility is to live by them. No one should be singled out for unfair
treatment or unkind words because of their ethnic background or religious
I ask you to continue to support the victims of this tragedy with your
contributions. Those who want to give can go to a central source of
information, libertyunites.org, to find the names of groups providing direct
help in New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
The thousands of FBI agents who are now at work in this investigation may
need your cooperation, and I ask you to give it.
I ask for your patience, with the delays and inconveniences that may
accompany tighter security -- and for your patience in what will be a long
I ask your continued participation and confidence in the American economy.
Terrorists attacked a symbol of American prosperity. They did not touch its
source. America is successful because of the hard work, and creativity, and
enterprise of our people. These were the true strengths of our economy
before September eleventh, and they are our strengths today.
Finally, please continue praying for the victims of terror and their
families, for those in uniform, and for our great country. Prayer has
comforted us in sorrow, and will help strengthen us for the journey ahead.
Tonight I thank my fellow Americans for what you have already done and for
what you will do. And ladies and gentlemen of the Congress, I thank you,
their representatives, for what you have already done, and for what we will
Tonight, we face new and sudden national challenges. We will come together
to improve air safety, to dramatically expand the number of air marshals on
domestic flights, and take new measures to prevent hijacking. We will come
together to promote stability and keep our airlines flying with direct
assistance during this emergency.
We will come together to give law enforcement the additional tools it needs
to track down terror here at home. We will come together to strengthen our
intelligence capabilities to know the plans of terrorists before they act,
and find them before they strike.
We will come together to take active steps that strengthen America's
economy, and put our people back to work.
Tonight we welcome here two leaders who embody the extraordinary spirit of
all New Yorkers: Governor George Pataki, and Mayor Rudy Giuliani. As a
symbol of America's resolve, my Administration will work with the Congress,
and these two leaders, to show the world that we will rebuild New York City.
After all that has just passed -- all the lives taken, and all the
possibilities and hopes that died with them -- it is natural to wonder if
America's future is one of fear. Some speak of an age of terror. I know
there are struggles ahead, and dangers to face. But this country will define
our times, not be defined by them. As long as the United States of America
is determined and strong, this will not be an age of terror; this will be an
age of liberty, here and across the world.
Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our
grief and anger we have found our mission and our moment. Freedom and fear
are at war. The advance of human freedom -- the great achievement of our
time, and the great hope of every time -- now depends on us. Our Nation --
this generation -- will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and
our future. We will rally the world to this cause, by our efforts and by our
courage. We will not tire, we will not falter, and we will not fail.
It is my hope that in the months and years ahead, life will return almost
to normal. We'll go back to our lives and routines, and that is good. Even
grief recedes with time and grace. But our resolve must not pass. Each of us
will remember what happened that day, and to whom it happened. We will
remember the moment the news came -- where we were and what we were doing.
Some will remember an image of fire, or a story of rescue. Some will carry
memories of a face and a voice gone forever.
And I will carry this. It is the police shield of a man named George
Howard, who died at the World Trade Center trying to save others. It was
given to me by his mom, Arlene, as a proud memorial to her son. This is my
reminder of lives that ended, and a task that does not end.
I will not forget this wound to our country, or those who inflicted it. I
will not yield -- I will not rest -- I will not relent in waging this
struggle for the freedom and security of the American people.
The course of this conflict is not known, yet its outcome is certain.
Freedom and fear, justice and cruelty, have always been at war, and we know
that God is not neutral between them.
Fellow citizens, we will meet violence with patient justice -- assured of
the rightness of our cause, and confident of the victories to come. In all
that lies before us, may God grant us wisdom, and may He watch over the
United States of America.
Text of President Bush's Remarks at the National Day of Prayer Service
WASHINGTON, Sept. 14, 2001 /U.S. Newswire/ -- Following is the text of President
Bush's remarks at the National Day of Prayer and Rembrance, National Cathedral, in Washington D.C.:
THE PRESIDENT: We are here in the middle hour of our grief.
So many have suffered so great a loss, and today we express our
nation's sorrow. We come before God to pray for the missing and
the dead, and for those who love them.
On Tuesday, our country was attacked with deliberate and
massive cruelty. We have seen the images of fire and ashes, and
Now come the names, the list of casualties we are only
beginning to read. They are the names of men and women who began
their day at a desk or in an airport, busy with life. They are
the names of people who faced death, and in their last moments
called home to say, be brave, and I love you.
They are the names of passengers who defied their murderers,
and prevented the murder of others on the ground. They are the
names of men and women who wore the uniform of the United
States, and died at their posts.
They are the names of rescuers, the ones whom death found
running up the stairs and into the fires to help others. We will
read all these names. We will linger over them, and learn their
stories, and many Americans will weep.
To the children and parents and spouses and families and
friends of the lost, we offer the deepest sympathy of the
nation. And I assure you, you are not alone.
Just three days removed from these events, Americans do not
yet have the distance of history. But our responsibility to
history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the
world of evil.
War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and
murder. This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to
anger. This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of
others. It will end in a way, and at an hour, of our choosing.
Our purpose as a nation is firm. Yet our wounds as a people
are recent and unhealed, and lead us to pray. In many of our
prayers this week, there is a searching, and an honesty. At St.
Patrick's Cathedral in New York on Tuesday, a woman said, "I
prayed to God to give us a sign that He is still here." Others
have prayed for the same, searching hospital to hospital,
carrying pictures of those still missing.
God's signs are not always the ones we look for. We learn in
tragedy that his purposes are not always our own. Yet the
prayers of private suffering, whether in our homes or in this
great cathedral, are known and heard, and understood.
There are prayers that help us last through the day, or
endure the night. There are prayers of friends and strangers,
that give us strength for the journey. And there are prayers
that yield our will to a will greater than our own.
This world He created is of moral design. Grief and tragedy
and hatred are only for a time. Goodness, remembrance, and love
have no end. And the Lord of life holds all who die, and all who
It is said that adversity introduces us to ourselves. This
is true of a nation as well. In this trial, we have been
reminded, and the world has seen, that our fellow Americans are
generous and kind, resourceful and brave. We see our national
character in rescuers working past exhaustion; in long lines of
blood donors; in thousands of citizens who have asked to work
and serve in any way possible.
And we have seen our national character in eloquent acts of
sacrifice. Inside the World Trade Center, one man who could have
saved himself stayed until the end at the side of his
quadriplegic friend. A beloved priest died giving the last rites
to a firefighter. Two office workers, finding a disabled
stranger, carried her down sixty-eight floors to safety. A group
of men drove through the night from Dallas to Washington to
bring skin grafts for burn victims.
In these acts, and in many others, Americans showed a deep
commitment to one another, and an abiding love for our country.
Today, we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called the warm courage
of national unity. This is a unity of every faith, and every
It has joined together political parties in both houses of
Congress. It is evident in services of prayer and candlelight
vigils, and American flags, which are displayed in pride, and
wave in defiance.
Our unity is a kinship of grief, and a steadfast resolve to
prevail against our enemies. And this unity against terror is
now extending across the world.
America is a nation full of good fortune, with so much to be
grateful for. But we are not spared from suffering. In every
generation, the world has produced enemies of human freedom.
They have attacked America, because we are freedom's home and
defender. And the commitment of our fathers is now the calling
of our time.
On this national day of prayer and remembrance, we ask
almighty God to watch over our nation, and grant us patience and
resolve in all that is to come. We pray that He will comfort and
console those who now walk in sorrow. We thank Him for each life
we now must mourn, and the promise of a life to come.
As we have been assured, neither death nor life, nor angels
nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to
come, nor height nor depth, can separate us from God's love. May
He bless the souls of the departed. May He comfort our own. And
may He always guide our country.
God bless America.