President's Radio Address
[WHITE HOUSE AUDIO]
THE PRESIDENT: Good
morning. This is a day of remembrance for our country.
And I am honored to be joined at the White House
today by Americans who lost so much in the terrible
events of September the 11th, 2001, and have felt
that loss every day since.
Three years ago, the struggle
of good against evil was compressed into a single
morning. 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.
We remember the cruelty of
enemies who murdered the innocent, and rejoiced
in our suffering. We remember the many good lives
that ended too soon -- which no one had the right
And our nation remembers the
families left behind to carry a burden of sorrow.
They have shown courage of their own. And with the
help of God's grace, and with support from one another,
the families of terror victims have shown a strength
that survives all hurt. Each of them remains in
the thoughts and prayers of the American people.
The terrorist attacks on September
the 11th were a turning point for our nation. We
saw the goals of a determined enemy: to expand the
scale of their murder, and force America to retreat
from the world. And our nation accepted a mission:
We will defeat this enemy.
The United States of America
is determined to guard our homeland against future
attacks. As the September the 11th Commission concluded,
our country is safer than we were three years ago,
but we are not yet safe.
So every day, many thousands
of dedicated men and women are on duty -- as air
marshals, airport screeners, cargo inspectors, border
patrol officers, and first responders. At the same
time, Americans serving in the FBI and CIA are performing
their daily work with professionalism, while we
reform those agencies to see the 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.
The United States is determined
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
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.
The United States is also
determined to advance democracy in the broader Middle
East, because freedom will bring the peace and security
we all want. 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. And as governments of
that region join in the fight against terror instead
of harboring terrorists, America and the world will
be more secure. Our present work in Iraq and Afghanistan
is difficult. It is also 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.
Since September the 11th,
the sacrifices in the war on terror have fallen
most heavily on members of our military, and their
families. Our nation is grateful to the brave men
and women who are taking risks on our behalf at
And America will never forget
the ones who have fallen -- men and women last seen
doing their duty, whose names we will honor forever.
The war on terror goes on.
The resolve of our nation is still being tested.
And in the face of danger we are showing our character.
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.
Thank you for listening.