8:30 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way
of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate
and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in
their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and
federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands
of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.
The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning,
huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible
sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder
were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But
they have failed; our country is strong.
A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist
attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but
they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered
steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.
America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon
for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that
light from shining.
Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And
we responded with the best of America -- with the daring of our
rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who
came to give blood and help in any way they could.
Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's
emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared.
Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington,
D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.
Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured,
and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and
around the world from further attacks.
The functions of our government continue without interruption.
Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are
reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for
business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and
the American economy will be open for business, as well.
The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts.
I've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement
communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice.
We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed
these acts and those who harbor them.
I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined
me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American
people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer
their condolences and assistance.
America and our friends and allies join with all those who want
peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the
war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those
who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for
all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And
I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us,
spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through
the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with
This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in
our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies
before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget
this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good
and just in our world.
Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.