Where We Stand:
Byliner by President George W. Bush
We all remember where we were and how we felt when we learned
of the terrorist attacks last September 11. We remember the blue
sky of that Tuesday morning and, moments later, the black smoke
that streaked against it. We remember the terrible scenes of planes
crashing into buildings and the dread we felt as we learned the
names of mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, children and
their teachers -- innocent victims from more than 80 countries.
In an instant, America was transformed from a nation at peace
to a country at war. We were called to defend liberty against
tyranny and terror. And we have answered that call with the might
of our military and the spirit of a nation inspired by acts of
In the past 12 months, we have seen the true character of our
country. We learned of firefighters who wrote their Social Security
numbers on their arms with felt-tip pens to mark their bodies
before rushing into burning buildings. We learned of the courage
of the passengers aboard Flight 93 -- American civilians who led
the first counterattack in the war on terror. We watched recovery
workers fulfill their grim duty while New Yorkers lined the streets
to show their support and gratitude.
Today, the grief of families continues. Yet we have rebuilt much
of what the terrorists set out to destroy. The Pentagon stands
strong and whole. We are rebuilding New York City. The U.S. military
and its allies around the world have disrupted the terrorist networks,
destroyed their training camps and undermined their ability to
strike again. American troops have removed the Taliban regime
from power, liberating Afghan women and children from lives of
fear and oppression. This will be a long war, and unprecedented
challenges await us. But we have made tremendous progress.
Our government bears essential responsibilities in this struggle:
to wage an effective and relentless war against terrorists, protect
the homeland and strengthen America's economy. We have acted on
those fronts, and we will continue to do more.
The American people have responsibilities as well. Countless
people around the country have asked me, "What can I do to
help in the war on terror?" The answer: Overcome evil with
acts of goodness. Love a neighbor. Reach out to somebody in need.
Feed someone who is hungry, teach a child to read, or join in
community efforts to prepare for emergencies by helping local
firefighters and police.
I have asked all Americans to commit at least two years over
a lifetime to the service of our neighbors and our nation. We
created USA Freedom Corps to help every American answer this call
to service by strengthening and expanding service opportunities
to protect our homeland, support our communities and extend American
compassion around the world.
One year after the terrorist attacks, we are moving forward.
We will never forget the victims who died Sept. 11 or the heroes
who left an indelible mark on our nation. An entire generation
of young people will grow up with vivid images of the faces of
bravery -- firefighters, police officers, men and women in the
U.S. military, nurses and doctors, members of the clergy, and
ordinary people who put the interests of the country and fellow
Americans above everything else.
We are proud of our achievements and hopeful for the future.
We will win the war on terrorism and leave the world better than
we found it.
May God bless America.