Full Text Campaign Buzz September 11, 2012: Mitt Romney’s September 11th 9-11 Statement ‘On this somber day with stand tall for peace & freedom’

CAMPAIGN 2012

CAMPAIGN BUZZ 2012

THE HEADLINES….

MITT ROMNEY: ON THIS SOMBER DAY, WE STAND TALL FOR PEACE AND FREEDOM

Source: Mitt Romney Press, 9-11-12

Mitt Romney today made the following statement on September 11th:

“Eleven years ago, evil descended upon our country, taking thousands of lives in an unspeakable attack against innocents. America will never forget those who perished.  America will never stop caring for the loved ones they left behind. And America shall remain ever vigilant against those who would do us harm. Today we again extend our most profound gratitude to our brave troops who have gone into battle, some never to return, so that we may live in peace. On this most somber day, those who would attack us should know that we are united, one nation under God, in our determination to stop them and to stand tall for peace and freedom at home and across the world.”

Full Text Obama Presidency September 11, 2012: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11 — After 9/11, America ‘Even Stronger’

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama: After 9/11, America ‘Even Stronger’

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-11-12

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Eleven years after the 9/11 attacks, President Obama says the country has emerged stronger, safer and more resilient.

“As painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson: that no single event can ever destroy who we are, no act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for,” the president said Tuesday at a memorial ceremony at the Pentagon.  “Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.”

Recalling a day “that began like so many others,” Obama said, “It is easy for those of us who lived through that day to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there and back here, back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when Americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn’t crumbling under our feet.”…READ MORE

Remarks by the President at the Pentagon Memorial Service in Remembrance of 9/11

Source: WH, 9-11-12 

Pentagon Memorial
Arlington, Virginia

9:49 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Secretary Panetta, General Dempsey, members of our Armed Forces, and most importantly, to the families –survivors and loved ones — of those we lost, Michelle and I are humbled to join you again on this solemn anniversary.

Today we remember a day that began like so many others.  There were rides to school and commutes to work, early flights and familiar routines, quick hugs and quiet moments.  It was a day like this one — a clear blue sky, but a sky that would soon be filled with clouds of smoke and prayers of a nation shaken to its core.

Even now, all these years later, it is easy for those of us who lived through that day to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there — and back here — back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when Americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn’t crumbling under our feet.

Eleven times we have marked another September 11th come and gone.  Eleven times, we have paused in remembrance, in reflection, in unity and in purpose.

This is never an easy day.  But it is especially difficult for all of you — the families of nearly 3,000 innocents who lost their lives — your mothers and fathers, your husbands and wives, your sons and your daughters. They were taken from us suddenly and far too soon.

To you and your families, the rest of us cannot begin to imagine the pain you’ve endured these many years.  We will never fully understand how difficult it has been for you to carry on, to summon that strength and to rebuild your lives.

But no matter how many years pass, no matter how many times we come together on this hallowed ground, know this — that you will never be alone.  Your loved ones will never be forgotten.  They will endure in the hearts of our nation, because through their sacrifice, they helped us make the America we are today — an America that has emerged even stronger.

Most of the Americans we lost that day had never considered the possibility that a small band of terrorists halfway around the world could do us such harm.  Most had never heard the name al Qaeda.  And yet, it’s because of their sacrifice that we’ve come together and dealt a crippling blow to the organization that brought evil to our shores.  Al Qaeda’s leadership has been devastated and Osama bin Laden will never threaten us again.  Our country is safer and our people are resilient.

It’s true that the majority of those who died on September 11th had never put on our country’s uniform.  And yet, they inspired more than 5 million Americans — members of the 9/11 Generation — to wear that uniform over the last decade.  These men and women have done everything that we have asked.

Today, the war in Iraq is over.  In Afghanistan, we’re training Afghan security forces and forging a partnership with the Afghan people.  And by the end of 2014, the longest war in our history will be over.  Meanwhile, countless civilians have opened their hearts to our troops, our military families and our veterans.

Eleven years ago, memorial services were held for Americans of different races and creeds, backgrounds and beliefs.  And yet, instead of turning us against each other, tragedy has brought us together.  I’ve always said that our fight is with al Qaeda and its affiliates, not with Islam or any other religion.  This country was built as a beacon of freedom and tolerance.  That’s what’s made us strong, now and forever.

And, finally, when those innocent souls were taken from us they left behind unfulfilled work and tasks that remain undone.  And that’s why, on a day when others sought to bring this country down, we choose to build it up with a National Day of Service and Remembrance.

Scripture tells us “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  There’s no better way to honor the best in those who died than by discovering the best in ourselves.

This anniversary allows us to renew our faith that even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn.  Today, we can come here to the Pentagon, and touch these names and kneel beside a building where a single stone still bears the scars of that fire. We can visit the field of honor in Pennsylvania and remember the heroes who made it sacred.  We can see water cascading into the footprints of the Twin Towers, and gaze up at a new tower rising above the New York skyline.

And even though we may never be able to fully lift the burden carried by those left behind, we know that somewhere, a son is growing up with his father’s eyes, and a daughter has her mother’s laugh — living reminders that those who died are with us still.

So as painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are.  No act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for.  Instead, we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly, without wavering, to the hope that we confess.

That’s the commitment that we reaffirm today.  And that’s why, when the history books are written, the true legacy of 9/11 will not be one of fear or hate or division.  It will be a safer world; a stronger nation; and a people more united than ever before.

God bless the memories of those we lost.  And God bless these United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
9:58 A.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency September 11, 2012: Vice President Joe Biden’s Speech at the Flight 93 National Memorial Commemorative Service

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the Vice President at the Flight 93 National Memorial Commemorative Service

Source: WH, 9-11-12

Flight 93 National Memorial
Shanksville, Pennsylvania

10:30 A.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, Mr. Secretary. Superintendent — Jeff, you’ve done a remarkable job here. And the thing I notice when I speak to you about is you’re invested in this place. It sort of has a — sort of stolen a piece of your heart. And that’s why I’m confident that all that you plan will happen.

Patrick, you’re keeping the flame alive, and keeping the families together is — from my experience, I imagine you all find solace in seeing one another. There’s nothing like being able to talk with someone who you know understands.

And it’s an honor — it’s a genuine honor to be back here today. But like all of the families, we wish we weren’t here. We wish we didn’t have to be here. We wish we didn’t have to commemorate any of this. And it’s a bittersweet moment for the entire nation, for all of the country, but particularly for those family members gathered here today.

Last year, the nation and all of your family members that are here commemorated the 10th anniversary of the heroic acts that gave definition to what has made America such a truly exceptional place — the individual acts of heroism of ordinary people in moments that could not have been contemplated, but yet were initiated.

I also know from my own experience that today is just as momentous a day for all of you, just as momentous a day in your life, for each of your families, as every September 11th has been, regardless of the anniversary. For no matter how many anniversaries you experience, for at least an instant, the terror of that moment returns; the lingering echo of that phone call; that sense of total disbelief that envelops you, where you feel like you’re being sucked into a black hole in the middle of your chest.

My hope for you all is that as every year passes, the depth of your pain recedes and you find comfort, as I have, genuine comfort in recalling his smile, her laugh, their touch. And I hope you’re as certain as I am that she can see what a wonderful man her son has turned out to be, grown up to be; that he knows everything that your daughter has achieved, and that he can hear, and she can hear how her mom still talks about her, the day he scored the winning touchdown, how bright and beautiful she was on that graduation day, and know that he knows what a beautiful child the daughter he never got to see has turned out to be, and how much she reminds you of him. For I know you see your wife every time you see her smile on your child’s face. You remember your daughter every time you hear laughter coming from her brother’s lips. And you remember your husband every time your son just touches your hand.

I also hope — I also hope it continues to give you some solace knowing that this nation, all these people gathered here today, who are not family members, all your neighbors, that they’ve not forgotten. They’ve not forgotten the heroism of your husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers. And that what they did for this country is still etched in the minds of not only you, but millions of Americans, forever. That’s why it’s so important that this memorial be preserved and go on for our children and our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren, and our great-great-grandchildren — because it is what makes it so exceptional. And I think they all appreciate, as I do, more than they can tell you, the incredible bravery your family members showed on that day.

I said last year my mom used to have an expression. She’d say, Joey, bravery resides in every heart, and someday it will be summoned. It’s remarkable — remarkable — how it was not only summoned, but acted on.

Today we stand on this hallowed ground, a place made sacred by the heroism and sacrifice of the passengers and the crew of Flight 93. And it’s as if the flowers, as I walked here, as if the flowers were giving testament to how sacred this ground is.

My guess — and obviously it’s only a guess; no two losses are the same. But my guess is you’re living this moment that Yeats only wrote about, when he wrote, pray I will and sing I must, but yet I weep. Pray I will, sing I must, but yet I weep.

My personal prayer for all of you is that in every succeeding year, you’re able to sing more than you weep. And may God truly bless you and bless the souls of those 40 incredible people who rest in this ground. (Applause.)

END
10:37 A.M. EDT

Full Text Obama Presidency 2012: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Marks the 11th Anniversary of 9/11 — Coming Together to Remember September 11th

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Obama’s Weekly Address: Marking the 11th Anniversary of 9/11

Source: ABC News Radio, 9-8-12

Joshua Roberts-Pool/Getty Images

As the nation prepares to mark the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, President Obama is reflecting on “just how far we’ve come as a nation” and highlighting his administration’s foreign policy successes.

In his weekly address, the president pays tribute to those who lost their lives and honors the first responders who fought to save them.

“On that clear September morning, as America watched the towers fall, and the Pentagon burn, and the wreckage smoldering in a Pennsylvania field, we were filled with questions.  Where had the attacks come from, and how would America respond?  Would they fundamentally weaken the country we love?  Would they change who we are?” Obama says.

“The last decade has been a difficult one, but together, we have answered those questions and come back stronger as a nation,” he says….READ MORE

President Obama marks the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks by remembering the innocent lives lost, and honoring the first responders and men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed to keep our country safe.


President Barack Obama tapes the Weekly Address, White House Photo, Pete Souza, 9/5/12

Weekly Address: Coming Together to Remember September 11th

Source: WH, 9-8-12

President Obama marks the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks by remembering the innocent lives lost, and honoring the first responders and men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed to keep our country safe.

In the difficult years following the attacks, the United States has come back stronger as a nation, decimated the leadership of al-Qaeda, ensured that Osama bin Laden will never attack America again, and strengthened our alliances across the world.

The President has signed a proclamation making Friday, September 7 through Sunday, September 9, 2012 National Days of Prayer and Remembrance.

To join that commemoration, you can sign up for a service opportunity near you at Serve.gov.

Transcript | Download mp4 | Download mp3

WEEKLY ADDRESS: Coming Together to Remember September 11th

WASHINGTON, DC—In this week’s address, President Obama marked the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks by remembering the innocent lives lost, and honoring the first responders and men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed to keep our country safe.  In the difficult years following the attacks, the United States has come back stronger as a nation, decimated the leadership of al-Qaeda, ensured that Osama bin Laden will never attack America again, and strengthened our alliances across the world.  Looking forward, we will continue to demonstrate that the legacy of 9/11 is that no adversary or act of terrorism can change who we are as Americans, and that we will always come together to preserve and protect the country we love.

Remarks of President Barack Obama
Weekly Address
The White House
September 8, 2012

This week, we mark the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks.  It’s a time to remember the nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children we lost, and the families they left behind.  It’s a chance to honor the courage of the first responders who risked their lives – on that day, and every day since.  And it’s an opportunity to give thanks for our men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed, sometimes far from home, to keep our country safe.

This anniversary is about them.  It’s also a time to reflect on just how far we’ve come as a nation these past eleven years.

On that clear September morning, as America watched the towers fall, and the Pentagon burn, and the wreckage smoldering in a Pennsylvania field, we were filled with questions.  Where had the attacks come from, and how would America respond?  Would they fundamentally weaken the country we love?  Would they change who we are?

The last decade has been a difficult one, but together, we have answered those questions and come back stronger as a nation.

We took the fight to al Qaeda, decimated their leadership, and put them on a path to defeat.  And thanks to the courage and skill of our intelligence personnel and armed forces, Osama bin Laden will never threaten America again.

Instead of pulling back from the world, we’ve strengthened our alliances while improving our security here at home.  As Americans, we refuse to live in fear.  Today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline.  And our country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world.

Instead of turning on each other, we’ve resisted the temptation to give in to mistrust and suspicion.  I have always said that America is at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates – and we will never be at war with Islam or any other religion.  We are the United States of America.  Our freedom and diversity make us unique, and they will always be central to who we are as a nation.

Instead of changing who we are, the attacks have brought out the best in the American people.  More than 5 million members of the 9/11 Generation have worn America’s uniform over the past decade, and we’ve seen an outpouring of goodwill towards our military, veterans, and their families.  Together, they’ve done everything we’ve asked of them.  We’ve ended the war in Iraq and brought our troops home.  We brought an end to the Taliban regime.  We’ve trained Afghan Security Forces, and forged a partnership with a new Afghan Government.  And by the end 2014, the transition in Afghanistan will be complete and our war there will be over.

And finally, instead of turning inward with grief, we’ve honored the memory of those we lost by giving back to our communities, serving those in need, and reaffirming the values at the heart of who we are as a people.  That’s why we mark September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  Because we are one American family.  And we look out for each other – not just on the difficult days, but every day.

Eleven years later, that’s the legacy of 9/11 – the ability to say with confidence that no adversary and no act of terrorism can change who we are.  We are Americans, and we will protect and preserve this country we love.  On this solemn anniversary, let’s remember those we lost, let us reaffirm the values they stood for, and let us keep moving forward as one nation and one people.

White House Recap December 30, 2011: The Obama Presidency’s 2011 Year in Review

WHITE HOUSE RECAP

WHITE HOUSE RECAP: 2011

West Wing Week

Source: WH, 12-30-11

Come take a look back at the President’s third year in office as we highlight behind-the-scenes footage and some of our favorite presidential moments. That’s January 1st to December 31st or, “Best of the West (Wing Week).”

Watch the Video

West Wing Week

Featured Historian Julian E. Zelizer: What happened to spirit of 9/12?

FEATURED HISTORIANS

What happened to spirit of 9/12?

Former President George W. Bush, first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama at the 9/11 Memorial in New York during the 1oth anniversary observance.
Former President George W. Bush, first lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama at the 9/11 Memorial in New York during the 1oth anniversary observance.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Julian Zelizer: Politicians of both parties pledged to work together after 9/11
  • He says that bipartisan spirit after attacks evaporated quickly
  • Zelizer says Democrats, GOP clashed over status of TSA workers
  • He says partisan forces too powerful for most politicians to overcome

Julian E. Zelizer is a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University. He is the author of “Jimmy Carter” (Times Books) and editor of a book assessing former President George W. Bush’s administration, published by Princeton University Press.

In the days following the horrendous attacks against the United States on 9/11, all the talk in Washington was about the need for bipartisanship. Republicans and Democrats promised that they would work together to protect the home front and capture those who were responsible.

On the day after, Democrats and Republicans followed the traditional post-military crisis ritual of promising to work on policies in bipartisan fashion. New York Sen. Hillary Clinton — who was still struggling to gain her sea legs in her first year on Capitol Hill, after having spent eight years serving as the first lady during some bruising partisan battles — announced that it was important to be “united behind our president and our government, sending a very clear message that this is something that transcends any political consideration or partisanship.”

Republicans also promised political peace. House Speaker Dennis Hastert assured the nation that “we are in complete agreement that we will work together, that we want to share information, that we will be ready to move on whatever the president suggests, and we will go through the debate and the actions of Congress in a bipartisan way to make that happen.” The kind of partisan sniping that voters were accustomed to, he and his colleagues said, would be a thing of the past.

The political question on September 12 was how long this unity would last: Would the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil really transform the politics of national security?

Ten years later, it is evident that the answer was clearly no. The period of good feelings did not last long. One of the most striking aspects of 9/11 was that even a tragedy of this scale could not tame the partisan forces that shape American politics….

Could the promise of September 12 ever be fulfilled? Certainly today there are enormous areas of consensus between the parties, such as over most counterterrorism policies, over the need for strong homeland security programs and even for strong military vigilance with countries such as North Korea and Pakistan.

Nonetheless, the partisan forces that play out on the campaign trail are simply too great to overcome. If 9/11 taught us anything, it’s how deeply rooted partisanship is in our modern political culture. Even a tragedy of its magnitude could barely contain the forces that perpetually rip apart members of the two parties.

Ten years ago, the parties came together. But they came together just for a brief spell. In the long span of history, it was as if the moment ended before either side could even blink.

Full Text September 11, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the 9-11 “A Concert for Hope” — Kennedy Center in Washington, DC

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

President Obama at Kennedy Center: America Does Not Give In to Fear

Source: WH, 9-11-11

Download Video: mp4 (110MB) | mp3 (11MB)

On Sunday night, after a day spent remembering those who lost their lives on September 11, 2001, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended “A Concert for Hope” at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. with Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden. At the event, the President spoke about how that terrible day changed us, as individuals and as a nation. But the President also talked about what has not changed in these past ten years:

Our character as a nation has not changed. Our faith -– in God and in each other –- that has not changed. Our belief in America, born of a timeless ideal that men and women should govern themselves; that all people are created equal, and deserve the same freedom to determine their own destiny –- that belief, through tests and trials, has only been strengthened.

These past 10 years have shown that America does not give in to fear. The rescue workers who rushed to the scene, the firefighters who charged up the stairs, the passengers who stormed the cockpit — these patriots defined the very nature of courage. Over the years we’ve also seen a more quiet form of heroism — in the ladder company that lost so many men and still suits up and saves lives every day, the businesses that have been rebuilt from nothing, the burn victim who has bounced back, the families who press on.

The President and First Lady today visited each of the three memorials that have been erected on the sites where the planes crashed, and in his remarks at the concert, the President spoke of how these tributes will help define this generation of Americans, and symbolize the lasting legacy of both those who died at the hands of the terrorists in this country, and those who gave their lives fighting in the two wars we have waged over the past decade:

Decades from now, Americans will visit the memorials to those who were lost on 9/11. They’ll run their fingers over the places where the names of those we loved are carved into marble and stone, and they may wonder at the lives that they led. And standing before the white headstones in Arlington, and in peaceful cemeteries and small-town squares in every corner of the country, they will pay respects to those lost in Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ll see the names of the fallen on bridges and statues, at gardens and schools.

And they will know that nothing can break the will of a truly United States of America. They will remember that we’ve overcome slavery and Civil War; we’ve overcome bread lines and fascism and recession and riots, and communism and, yes, terrorism. They will be reminded that we are not perfect, but our democracy is durable, and that democracy –- reflecting, as it does, the imperfections of man -– also give us the opportunity to perfect our union. That is what we honor on days of national commemoration –- those aspects of the American experience that are enduring, and the determination to move forward as one people.

More than monuments, that will be the legacy of 9/11 –- a legacy of firefighters who walked into fire and soldiers who signed up to serve; of workers who raised new towers, and citizens who faced down their private fears. Most of all, of children who realized the dreams of their parents. It will be said that we kept the faith; that we took a painful blow, and we emerged stronger than before.

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by the President at “A Concert for Hope”

Source: WH, 9-11-11

Kennedy Center Washington, D.C.
8:12 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  The Bible tells us — “weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

Ten years ago, America confronted one of our darkest nights.  Mighty towers crumbled.  Black smoke billowed up from the Pentagon.  Airplane wreckage smoldered on a Pennsylvania field.  Friends and neighbors, sisters and brothers, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters –- they were taken from us with a heartbreaking swiftness and cruelty.  And on September 12, 2001, we awoke to a world in which evil was closer at hand, and uncertainty clouded our future.

In the decade since, much has changed for Americans.  We’ve known war and recession, passionate debates and political divides.  We can never get back the lives that were lost on that day or the Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars that followed.

And yet today, it is worth remembering what has not changed.  Our character as a nation has not changed.  Our faith -– in God and in each other –- that has not changed.  Our belief in America, born of a timeless ideal that men and women should govern themselves; that all people are created equal, and deserve the same freedom to determine their own destiny –- that belief, through tests and trials, has only been strengthened.

These past 10 years have shown that America does not give in to fear.  The rescue workers who rushed to the scene, the firefighters who charged up the stairs, the passengers who stormed the cockpit — these patriots defined the very nature of courage.  Over the years we’ve also seen a more quiet form of heroism — in the ladder company that lost so many men and still suits up and saves lives every day, the businesses that have been rebuilt from nothing, the burn victim who has bounced back, the families who press on.

Last spring, I received a letter from a woman named Suzanne Swaine.  She had lost her husband and brother in the Twin Towers, and said that she had been robbed of, “so many would-be proud moments where a father watches their child graduate, or tend a goal in a lacrosse game, or succeed academically.”  But her daughters are in college, the other doing well in high school.  “It has been 10 years of raising these girls on my own,” Suzanne wrote.  “I could not be prouder of their strength and resilience.”  That spirit typifies our American family.  And the hopeful future for those girls is the ultimate rebuke to the hateful killers who took the life of their father.

These past 10 years have shown America’s resolve to defend its citizens, and our way of life.  Diplomats serve in far off posts, and intelligence professionals work tirelessly without recognition.  Two million Americans have gone to war since 9/11. They have demonstrated that those who do us harm cannot hide from the reach of justice, anywhere in the world.  America has been defended not by conscripts, but by citizens who choose to serve -– young people who signed up straight out of high school, guardsmen and reservists, workers and business-people, immigrants and fourth-generation soldiers.  They are men and women who left behind lives of comfort for two, three, four, five tours of duty.  Too many will never come home.  Those that do carry dark memories from distant places and the legacy of fallen friends.

The sacrifices of these men and women, and of our military families, reminds us that the wages of war are great; that while service to our nation is full of glory, war itself is never glorious.  Our troops have been to lands unknown to many Americans a decade ago -– to Kandahar and Kabul; to Mosul and Basra.  But our strength is not measured in our ability to stay in these places; it comes from our commitment to leave those lands to free people and sovereign states, and our desire to move from a decade of war to a future of peace.

These 10 years have shown that we hold fast to our freedoms.  Yes, we’re more vigilant against those who threaten us, and there are inconveniences that come with our common defense.  Debates –- about war and peace, about security and civil liberties –- have often been fierce these last 10 years.  But it is precisely the rigor of these debates, and our ability to resolve them in a way that honors our values and our democracy, that is the measure of our strength.  Meanwhile, our open markets still provide innovators the chance to create and succeed, our citizens are still free to speak their minds, and our souls are enriched in churches and temples, our synagogues and our mosques.

These past 10 years underscores the bonds between all Americans.  We have not succumbed to suspicion, nor have we succumbed to mistrust.  After 9/11, to his great credit, President Bush made clear what we reaffirm today:  The United States will never wage war against Islam or any other religion.  Immigrants come here from all parts of the globe.  And in the biggest cities and the smallest towns, in schools and workplaces, you still see people of every conceivable race and religion and ethnicity -– all of them pledging allegiance to the flag, all of them reaching for the same American dream –- e pluribus unum, out of many, we are one.

These past 10 years tell a story of our resilience.  The Pentagon is repaired, and filled with patriots working in common purpose.  Shanksville is the scene of friendships forged between residents of that town, and families who lost loved ones there.  New York — New York remains the most vibrant of capitals of arts and industry and fashion and commerce.  Where the World Trade Center once stood, the sun glistens off a new tower that reaches towards the sky.

Our people still work in skyscrapers.  Our stadiums are still filled with fans, and our parks full of children playing ball.  Our airports hum with travel, and our buses and subways take millions where they need to go.  And families sit down to Sunday dinner, and students prepare for school.  This land pulses with the optimism of those who set out for distant shores, and the courage of those who died for human freedom.

Decades from now, Americans will visit the memorials to those who were lost on 9/11.  They’ll run their fingers over the places where the names of those we loved are carved into marble and stone, and they may wonder at the lives that they led.  And standing before the white headstones in Arlington, and in peaceful cemeteries and small-town squares in every corner of the country, they will pay respects to those lost in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They’ll see the names of the fallen on bridges and statues, at gardens and schools.

And they will know that nothing can break the will of a truly United States of America.  They will remember that we’ve overcome slavery and Civil War; we’ve overcome bread lines and fascism and recession and riots, and communism and, yes, terrorism.  They will be reminded that we are not perfect, but our democracy is durable, and that democracy –- reflecting, as it does, the imperfections of man -– also give us the opportunity to perfect our union.  That is what we honor on days of national commemoration –- those aspects of the American experience that are enduring, and the determination to move forward as one people.

More than monuments, that will be the legacy of 9/11 –- a legacy of firefighters who walked into fire and soldiers who signed up to serve; of workers who raised new towers, and citizens who faced down their private fears.  Most of all, of children who realized the dreams of their parents.  It will be said that we kept the faith; that we took a painful blow, and we emerged stronger than before.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

With a just God as our guide, let us honor those who have been lost, let us rededicate ourselves to the ideals that define our nation, and let us look to the future with hearts full of hope.

May God bless the memory of those we lost, and may God bless the United States of America.

Full Text September 11, 2011: President Barack Obama’s 9-11 Message to the Families — Remarks at National September 11 Memorial in New York & United Flight 93 Memorial

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

President Obama’s Message to 9/11 Families

Source: WH, 9-11-11

President Obama has a message for those who lost loved ones on that terrible day, ten years ago: “We can never replace all that you have lost.  But what we can do, what we will do, is honor the memory of your loved ones by being the best country we can be, and by standing with you and your families, now and forever.”

The President and Mrs Obama commemorated today’s sad anniversary by attending memorial services at the three sites where the planes went down, and once again met with many of the families. The First Family have been touched by the grief that still lingers:

Despite heartache that never goes away, you’ve done what your loved ones would have wanted.  You’ve learned to live and laugh and love again.  Your courage, your resilience has been an inspiration to my family, and an inspiration to the American people.  Through you, we’ve been reminded that, as a people, we don’t simply endure, we can emerge stronger than before.

In quiet moments of remembrance, some of you have shared with Michelle and me the beauty of their lives, the anguish of your loss and the pain of these past ten years.  And I realize that there are no words than can ever fill the hole in your hearts.

But today I want to say again—your loved ones live on in you and in the life of our nation, which will never forget them.  In their name, we’ll never waver in our efforts to prevent another attack on our shores and to spare other families the heartbreak you have known.  In their name, we’ll continue to deliver justice to those who took the people you loved most in the world.  And in their name, we will come together, in spirit of national service, to honor your loved ones, as one American family.

President Obama and First Lady Join Services to Commemorate Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

Source: WH, 9-11-11

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush at the National September 11 Memorial President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, along with former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush, walk along the western edge of the North Pool at the National September 11 Memorial in New York, N.Y., prior to a commemoration ceremony on the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are marking the tenth anniversary of the worst attacks on our country by joining ceremonies at each of the three sites where the planes crashed on September 11, 2001. Their first stop was New York City, where they joined the annual service that includes reading the names of all of the almost 3,000 victims. The President and First Lady joined former President George W. Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush at the new September 11 Memorial, which features two reflecting pools built over the towers’ footprints where the names of the victims are etched in bronze.

Following a moment of silence at 8:46 AM, the exact moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center ten years ago, the President read Psalm 46 from the Bible:

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.

Therefore, we will not fear,
even though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried
into the midst of the sea.
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake
with its swelling,
there’s a river
whose streams shall make glad
the City of God,
the holy place of the Tabernacle
of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her.
She shall not be moved.
God shall help her
just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged,
the kingdoms were moved.
He uttered his voice.
The earth melted.
The Lord of Hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come behold the works of the Lord
who has made desolations in the Earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the Earth.
He breaks the bough
and cuts the spear in two.
He burns the chariot in fire.
Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the Earths.
The Lord of Hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in a wreath laying ceremony in Shanksville PAPresident Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama participate in a wreath laying ceremony to honor those who lost their lives on 9/11, and to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States, at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)

From New York, the Obamas traveled to Shanksville, Pa., where they walked along the Wall of Names that honors the 40 brave Americans who were on Flight 93,  the plane that crashed at Shanksville, and placed a wreath at the site. The President also placed a wreath at a memorial at the Pentagon, where the 184 victims are each remembered with a bench and small reflecting pool. Sunday evening, the President and the First Lady will attend A Concert for Hope at the Kennedy Center in Washington.

The President declared September 11 a national day of service and remembrance to honor those killed in the attacks, those who responded 10 years ago and those who have served in our military during in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yesterday, the First Family participated in a service project in Washington, DC.

First Lady Michelle Obama hugs a woman at the 9/11 memorial in Shanksville PAPresident Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama greet people on the rope line while attending a ceremony to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks against the United States, at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, Sunday, Sept. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Samantha Appleton)
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On This Day in History… September 11, 2001: President Barack Obama & Former President George W. Bush Observe the 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terror Attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, Pentagon & United Flight 93 with Memorials

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:

Day in History

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

IN FOCUS: 10th ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 TERROR ATTACKS

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

From left: Laura Bush, George W. Bush, Michelle Obama and President Obama observe a moment of silence at the National September 11 Memorial. | AP Photo

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY….

On this day in history… September 11, 2001… Terrorists hijack two passenger planes crashing them into New York’s World Trade Towers causing the collapse of the 110-story twin towers& death of 2,752 people.
Terrorists hijack a passenger plane and crash it into the Pentagon causing the death of 125 people.
Attempt by passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 to retake control of their hijacked plane from terrorists causes plane to crash in Pennsylvania field killing all 64 people onboard.

What was 9/11?: On September 11, 2001, 19 members of a terrorist group called al-Qaeda hijacked four U.S. airplanes and used them to strike various targets on the East Coast. The carefully planned attacks killed nearly 3,000 people, making it the worst attack on the United States in history…. – WaPo, 9-10-11

QUOTES

Archives: President George W. Bush’s Address to the Nation after Terror Attacks (Full Text) — Globe & Mail, 8-26-11

Full Text September 11, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Speech at the 9-11 “A Concert for Hope” — Kennedy Center in Washington, DC WH, 9-11-11

Full Text September 11, 2011: President Barack Obama’s 9-11 Message to the Families — Remarks at National September 11 Memorial in New York & United Flight 93 Memorial WH, 9-11-11

Full Text September 11, 2011: Vice President Joe Biden’s Speech at the 9-11 Memorial at the Pentagon, Washington DC WH, 9-11-11

9/11 anniversary: President Obama’s reading at World Trade Center LAT, 9-11-11

Bush Reads From Lincoln Letter at Ground Zero: Former President George W. Bush read a letter President Abraham Lincoln wrote to a widow who lost five sons in the Civil War during commemorations for the 10th anniversary of 9/11 at Ground Zero in New York. (Sept. 11)… – AP, 9-11-11

Full Text September 10, 2011: President George W. Bush’s Speech at the Unveiling of the Flight 93 National Memorial, Shanksville, Pennsylvania Fox News, 9-10-11

Full Text September 10, 2011: Vice President Joe Biden, President George W. Bush & President Bill Clinton at the Unveiling of the Flight 93 National Memorial, Shanksville, Pennsylvania WH, 9-10-11

Full Text September 10, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Weekly Address Marks the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, the September 11th Terror Attacks & Pays Tribute to the First Responders WH, 9-10-11

“”It will be said that we kept the faith. That we took a painful blow, and we emerged stronger than ever before.
It is worth remembering what has not changed — our character as a nation has not changed.
These past 10 years have shown that America does not give in to fear.
The rescue workers who rushed to the scene; the firefighters who charged up the stairs; the passengers who stormed the cockpit — these patriots defined the very nature of courage.
Our people still work in skyscrapers. Our stadiums are filled with fans, and our parks full of children playing ball…..
Too many will never come home. Those that do carry dark memories from distant places, and the legacy of fallen friends.”
Our strength is not measured in our ability to stay in these places; it comes from our commitment to leave those lands to free people and sovereign states, and our desire to move from a decade of war to a future of peace.
Debates — about war and peace; about security and civil liberties — have often been fierce these last ten years. But it is precisely the rigor of these debates, and our ability to resolve them in a way that honors our values and our democracy, that is the measure of our strength.
After 9/11, to his great credit, President Bush made clear what we reaffirm today: the United States will never wage war against Islam or any other religion. Immigrants come here from all parts of the globe.
They will know that nothing can break the will of a truly United States of America. They will be reminded that we are not perfect, but our democracy is durable, and that democracy — reflecting, as it does, the imperfections of man — also gives us the opportunity to perfect our union. That is what we honor on days of national commemoration — those aspects of the American experience that are enduring, and the determination to move forward as one people.” — President Obama at “A Concert for Hope” at the Kennedy Center in Washington

    • Obama’s remarks at Sept. 11 observance in NY: Text of President Barack Obama’s remarks at New York City’s commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, as provided by the White House. He read from Psalm 46…. – AP, 9-11-11

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, even though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling.” — — President Obama, Psalm 46

“President Lincoln not only understood the heartbreak of his country, he also understood the cost to sacrifice and reached out to console those in sorrow.” — Fromer President George W. Bush

“Dear Madam,
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming.
But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
‘A. Lincoln'” —
ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S LETTER TO MRS BIXBY, 1864, Washington, November 21, 1864 read by Former President George W. Bush at the 9/11 Memorial

“Ten years have passed since a perfect blue sky morning turned into the blackest of nights. Since then, we’ve lived in sunshine and in shadows. And although we can never ‘unsee’ what happened here … we can also see that children who lost their parents have grown into young adults, grandchildren have been born, and good works and public service have taken root to honor those we loved and lost.” — New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in opening the ceremony

“They were our neighbors, our friends, our husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, children and parents. They were the ones who rushed in to help, 2,983 innocent men, women and children. We have asked their families to come here to speak the names out loud to remind each of us of a person we lost in New York, in Washington and Pennsylvania.” — New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said in opening the ceremony

“Freedom means the supremacy of human rights everywhere.” — New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

“Names etched on the head of a pin.
One name spanning a bridge, another undergoing a tunnel.
A blue name needled into the skin.
Names of citizens, workers, mothers and fathers,
The bright-eyed daughter, the quick son.
Alphabet of names in a green field.
Names in the small tracks of birds.
Names lifted from a hat
Or balanced on the tip of the tongue.
Names wheeled into the dim warehouse of memory.
So many names, there is barely room on the walls of the heart.” — former New York Governor George Pataki read the last verse of “No words cried out so fully from the broken heart of our nation as those of a poem called “The Names,” written a year after the attacks, by the United States’ Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.

“Gently they go, the beautiful, the tender, the kind;
Quietly they go, the intelligent, the witty, the brave.
I know. But I do not approve. And I am not resigned.” — Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani quoted Edna St. Vincent Millay

“If I should die and leave you here a while,
be not like others sore undone,
who keep long vigil by the silent dust.
For my sake turn again to life and smile,
nerving thy heart and trembling hand
to do something to comfort other hearts than thine.
Complete these dear unfinished tasks of mine
and I perchance may therein comfort you.”
— New Jersey Governor Chris Christie also turned to a poet, Mary Lee Hall, who wrote “Turn Again To Life”

“I know these memorials — and you’ve been through many — are bittersweet moments for you, because as you sit here right now, unlike a month ago, everything’s come back in stark relief. It’s not a thought, it’s precise. You remember that God-awful empty feeling, you remember being sucked into your own chest and that feeling of hollowness. But I want you to know something else. Your physical presence here today gives hope to thousands of Americans who under different circumstances are trying to come to grips with the losses that you had.” — Vice President Joe Biden attended the Pentagon ceremony

Ten years ago today, ordinary Americans went to work or boarded a plane and found themselves fighting on the frontlines of a battle they did not choose. They acquitted themselves with grace and courage, just as the thousands of men and women who enlisted to fight in our armed forces— many on the anniversaries of this day—in order to exact justice for their fellow Americans. We will never forget those who died ten years ago today, we will never forget those who died in the war that started on that day, and we ask God to comfort and bless their families. From across this great nation, grateful Americans honor those who defend our homeland. God bless America. — Sarah Palin

“What happened above this Pennsylvania field was among the most courageous acts in American history. For as long as this memorial stands, we’ll remember … the sacrifice they made and the lives they spared. The United States will never forget…. Americans are alive today because the passengers and crew of Flight 93 chose to act, and our nation will be forever grateful.” — Former President George W. Bush at United Flight 93 Memorial, Shanksville, PA

“There has always been a special place in the common memory for people who deliberately, knowingly, certainly lay down their lives for other people to live.” — Former President Bill Clinton at United Flight 93 Memorial, Shanksville, PA

“Ten years later, I’d say America came through this thing in a way that was consistent with our character. Some things haven’t happened as quickly as they needed to. But overall, we took the fight to al- Qaeda, we preserved our values, we preserved our character.” — President Barack Obama in an interview with NBC News

Bush After 9/11 Says He Has No Regrets: “The work that was done by intelligence communities during my presidency was part of putting together the puzzle that enabled us to see the full picture of how bin Laden was communicating and eventually where he was hiding. It began the day after 9/11.

I, of course, remember (White House Chief of Staff Andy Card) whispering in my ear. I remember the faces of the children. … It was a moment of clarity because people were going to watch how I reacted, and I had enough experience with crises to understand that if you’re head of an organization, it’s important to project calm in the initial stages of a crisis.

The key thing that I tried to do was to say let’s gather facts so we know what’s happening. The problem that I faced — and the truth of the matter is, many in my administration faced — was during certain moments during the day, there was a fog of war, and the information flow was just really inaccurate. … We needed to take steps to make sure that the attack was a four- plane attack, not a 10-plane attack. We just didn’t know. … My mind eventually became focused on finding out who did it and seeking justice, but initially it was respond and prevent.

There were moments when I said I’d like to be alone and just thinking through the ramifications and making sure that my thoughts were clear. I prayed for the victims. I prayed for our country. I would see people jump off buildings, and it just was horrific, but I was also determined to lead the country.

The first two statements were on the fly. I didn’t realize I had missed the mark. … I just did the best I could do given the circumstances, but obviously it wasn’t the best setting for a president to try to calm the nerves of the country. I wanted to speak from the Oval Office. I wasn’t going to address our nation from a bunker. It would have been a huge psychological victory for the people who attacked.

The job of the president was to say here are the facts, here’s what we’re dealing with, and deal with them. Not to feel sorry for yourself, or not to say why did it happen under my watch? That’s not a leadership trait that is admirable. … I felt like I had the capacity to deal with the crisis, and you don’t know until it happens. When I look back on it, I don’t feel a sense of being overwhelmed.
Not that I can think of. I mean, I think the response, laying out tools so that future presidents can have a better chance to protect the country, it’s a legacy that I hope historians will say, ‘It’s a good legacy: He used tools that he thought were necessary and then he helped work with the Congress to codify them, so future presidents, if they so choose, can use those tools.’

My mind was just churning over the events, the response, the information that had been given through a variety of National Security Council meetings. … And then just as I was kind of dozing off, (a Secret Service agent said) ‘Mr. President,’ and off we go. I had the T-shirt on and the running shorts and grabbed Laura, who didn’t have her contacts on, grabbed (dog) Barney. We must have been looking like a motley crew as we headed down. … It was almost surreal, these big pneumatic doors as you’re heading into the bowels of the White House, guys in black uniforms and guns.
I didn’t want to sleep down there because I knew I needed to be rested for the next day, and the bed looked horrible. Harry Truman must have bought the bed. It was one of those pullouts with a metal bar in the middle. I was envisioning Laura and I kind of fighting for the soft space.” — ABC News, 9-11-11

HEADLINES

    • 9/11 Remembered 9/11: The 25 Most Powerful Photos: One decade after 9/11, an unsettling number of images from Ground Zero and its environs remain seared in our collective memory — unsurprising, perhaps, given the scope and scale of the destruction. But the fact that the deadliest, most visually arresting attacks occurred in New York City also meant that many of the world’s best photographers were, in effect, already on the scene when the terrorists struck. Here, to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and in hopes of lending coherence to our shared, turbulent recollections, LIFE.com presents the 25 most stirring, visceral photographs from that day, featuring pictures from the likes of James Nachtwey, Joe Raedle, Spencer Platt, Mario Tama, and other celebrated photojournalists (and one intrepid amateur). These are the pictures we remember: wrenching, indelible photographs that tell the tale of a still- resonant late summer day that changed everything…. – Yahoo News

9/11 LIVE: Scenes from the 9/11 anniversary: As the nation and the world mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Associated Press journalists are tracking down the most salient details of the day, and capturing the mood, from ground zero to Afghanistan and everywhere in between…. – AO, 9-11-11

    • Once More, an Outpouring of Grief on 9/11 A Day That Stands Alone in History: Thousands gathered to mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that dramatically changed a city and a nation…. – NYT, 9-11-11
    • 9/11 anniversary: Obama’s day, from mourning to hope: It was a day to mourn the memory of things past while hoping that resilience will create a brighter future as President Obama visited all three sites scarred the deadliest act of terrorism in the nation’s history on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. … – LAT, 9-11-11
    • 9/11 anniversary: Obama closes day with “Concert for Hope”: Closing a day of 9/11 remembrances at a “Concert for Hope” in Washington, D.C., President Obama reminded Americans Sunday evening of their resilience as he paid tribute to the losses suffered a decade ago while recalling the country’s enduring values.
      “Ten years ago, America confronted one of our darkest nights,” the president said from the stage of the Kennedy Center along the banks of the Potomac River. “Yet today, it is worth remembering what has not changed.”
      “These past 10 years have shown that America does not give in to fear,’ the president said, citing the rescue workers who rushed to help on Sept. 11, 2001, and the passengers who stormed the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93.
      Obama hailed the services of the more than 2 million Americans who have served in the volunteer military over the last decade, even as he warned of the price of war…. – LAT, 9-11-11
    • Obama Concludes 9/11 Anniversary at the Kennedy Center: After stops in New York City, Shanksville, PA, and at the Pentagon, the president finished his day of 9/11 tributes with the “Concert for Hope” at Washington, DC’s Kennedy Center. Following performances by the Marine Chamber Orchestra, Washington National Cathedral Choir, Alan Jackson, Denyce Graves, and Patti LaBelle, Obama gave a speech in which he called the United States “stronger than before” the terrorist attacks ten years ago. Opening with a passage from the bible (“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning”), he focused on themes of resilience and sacrifice. Obama also touched on some of the less inspiring byproducts of the tragedy, including the country’s ongoing wars in the Middle East, debates over civil liberties, and racial and religious tensions, making sure to reaffirm that, “The United States will never wage war against Islam or any religion.” Mostly, though, he struck an optimistic tone, telling listeners that future generations would visit 9/11 memorials for a reminder that, “Nothing can break the will of a truly United States of America.”… – New York Magazine, 9-11-11
    • Obama: America does not give in to fear: Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, America has emerged stronger and its character remains unchanged, President Obama said Sunday.
      “These past 10 years have shown that America does not give in to fear,” the president said at a concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, the last in a series of events Mr. Obama attended to commemorate the anniversary of the attacks. ” Our people still work in skyscrapers. Our stadiums are filled with fans, and our parks full of children playing ball.”
      The president spoke of young girls who lost their father in the attack on the Twin Towers and said their hopeful future is the “ultimate rebuke” to the terrorists who took their father’s life…. – CBS News, 9-11-11
    • Obama: U.S. Stronger After 9/11: It was a long, solemn Sunday for President Obama, who marked the 9/11 anniversary by saying that the past decade has been “a story of American resilience.” In his final speech of the day in Washington, D.C., on Sunday evening, Obama said that despite the problems of the past 10 years, America is stronger. He said, “It will be said that we kept that faith. That we took a painful blow, and emerged stronger than ever before.” He also reminded Americans that it’s worth remembering what has not changed since the attacks: the nation’s character. He also referred to some of the debates over policy that many have found frustrating in recent months, saying, “It is precisely the rigor of these debates, and our ability to resolve them in a way that honors our values, that is a measure of our strength.”… – The Daily Beast, 9-11-11 USA Today, 9-11-11
    • 9/11 anniversary: Ceremony at World Trade Center 10 years after September 11: Ten years after the darkest day in American history, the families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks and officials including President Obama and former President Bush gathered to honor those lost. Ten years after the darkest day in American history…. – New York Daily News, 9-11-11
    • Obamas ‘particularly moved’ at 911 site: President Obama was impressed by the memorial at the World Trade Center site in Manhattan, and he and the first lady were “particularly moved” by the readings during Sunday’s service there, spokesman Josh Earnest said…. – Politico, 9-11-11
    • Why Obama picked Psalm 46 to read at New York 9-11 anniversary: President Obama read Psalm 46 at the New York ceremony Sunday marking the tenth anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.
      Principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest explained why Obama selected that psalm. “The President chose a scripture which he believed was most appropriate — he believed it was particularly appropriate to use — to read scripture this morning. And he chose a passage that talks of persevering through very difficult challenges and emerging from those challenges stronger,” Earnest said…. – Chicago Sun-Times, 9-11-11
    • Obama and Bush lead 9/11 observance: Under a sky as clear as the one that filled with flames, smoke and ash the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, tens of thousands of people gathered at the World Trade Center site in lower Manhattan Sunday morning to remember those who died in the terrorist attacks that day and to reflect on the tumultuous decade that followed.
      Ten years after two airplanes flying low over New York struck the twin towers, killing 2,753 people, President Barack Obama was joined by his predecessor, former President George W. Bush, in paying tribute to the victims, their loved ones and a nation changed by force, and by will. Counting the casualties from a third plane that crashed into the Pentagon and a fourth plane crashed by hijackers into a field in Shanksville, Pa., 2,977 people died on 9/11.
      It was the first time Obama and Bush have appeared together at Ground Zero, site of the most deadly of the attacks that defined Bush’s presidency while greatly shaping Obama’s – and it was their first meeting since January, 2010…. – Politico, 9-11-11
    • America marks 10th anniversary of Sept. 11 terror attacks: A moment of silence at the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. The reading of names in a grassy western Pennsylvania field. A visit, by President Obama, to the Arlington National Cemetery graves of 60 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
      With these solemn gestures, Americans across the world began marking the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the Pentagon in Virginia and World Trade Center in New York.
      Under sunny skies, reminiscent of the clear blue morning 10 years ago when hijackers crashed four jetliners, killing nearly 3,000 people, ceremonies began Sunday morning at Ground Zero. Obama and former president George W. Bush, along with their wives, walked slowly along the North Memorial Pool, where the north Trade Center tower fell…. – WaPo, 9-11-11
    • America Remembers Terror Victims, Honors ‘9/11 Generation of Warriors’: AP President Obama lays a wreath as the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks are observed at the Pentagon Sept. 11. Americans told stories of loved ones, read from Scripture and waved the flag Sunday as they honored the memories of those who died…. – Fox News, 9-11-11
    • N.Y.C.: Moments of silence at ground zero: Moments of silence were observed in New York City Sunday on the tenth anniversary of the terror attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and killed nearly 3,000 people….
      Sixty bagpipe players and drummers led the World Trade flag through the memorial, where the flag was unfolded and held aloft by the Honor Guard…. – CBS News, 9-11-11
    • George W Bush addresses mourning families with Abraham Lincoln letter as he commemorates lives lost on 9/11: Former U.S. President George W Bush read a letter today written by Abraham Lincoln as he addressed the families of thousands of victims killed on 9/11 this morning.
      Commemorating the sacrifices of those lost in the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Bush cited Lincoln’s letter to Mrs Lydia Bixby, penned in 1864.
      The text, regarded highly among Lincoln’s finest works of writing, addresses a bereaved mother of five sons who were thought to have died while fighting for the Union in the Civil War…. – Daily Mail UK, 9-11-11
    • Bush and Obama: Side by Side: At ground zero, the president defined by his response to Sept. 11 and the one who has tried to take America beyond the lingering, complicated legacy of that day…. – NYT, 9-11-11
    • Bush and Obama: Side by Side at Ground Zero: For the first time on Sunday, President Obama and former President George W. Bush stood together at the site of the Sept. 11 attacks, listening as family members read the names of lost love ones and bowing their heads…. – NYT, 9-11-11
    • At Pentagon, No Words Will Fill Void: Families of the 184 people who died in the attack remember the moment…. – NYT, 9-11-11
    • In Shanksville, a Silent Field: At 10:03 a.m., instead of an explosion, there was quiet remembrance…. – NYT, 9-11-11
    • In Pennsylvania, a Wall of Names: President Obama and his wife, Michelle, placed a large wreath at the memorial…. – NYT, 9-11-11
    • Obama, Bush see raw emotions at 9/11 events: * Obama continues war on militants begun by Bush
      * Two appear together for first time in 18 months
      * Obama: U.S. overcomes slavery, fascism, terrorism (Updates with Obama remarks)
      President Barack Obama picked up where his predecessor George W. Bush left off in the war against Islamic militants after the Sept. 11 attacks, and on Sunday both saw the raw emotions that linger 10 years later.
      The 10th anniversary of the attacks marked the first time the Democratic and Republican presidents have appeared together publicly since January 2010. But, joined by their wives, the two men made a show of solidarity at Ground Zero in New York, walking in tandem along a memorial pool at the site of the north tower of the World Trade Center. [ID:nS1E78A00A]
      They nodded their heads during a moment of silence, the only sound the roaring of the waterfall in the pool.
      Afterward, they appeared together behind bullet-proof glass near where the names of those killed on Sept. 11 were read aloud…. – Reuters, 9-11-11
    • U.S. marks 10 years since 9/11 with solemnity, prayer: With simple and solemn ceremony, the United States marked the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks Sunday with prayer and remembrances at the sites where thousands of Americans died.
      President Barack Obama was joined by former President George W. Bush at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, a moment of bipartisan unity to honor the dead reminiscent of the way the country came together in the wake of the attacks.
      Hand in hand with their wives, they walked to the site as the ceremony opened at 8:46 am, the precise moment the first hijacked plane smashed into the first tower. A church bell rang twice…. – McClatchy Newspapers, 9-11-11
    • Families, dignitaries mourn at World Trade Center in N.Y.: Beneath a cloudless sky eerily reminiscent of the fateful day 10 years ago, officials, families of those killed and other mourners gathered on Sunday in a national day of commemoration at the site of the World Trade Center to recall the terror attack in New York City.
      In a show of unity that crossed party lines, President Obama and former President George W. Bush led dignitaries at the site. They and their wives toured the North Memorial Pool, the scene of the fallen north tower that collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001.
      Each president held his spouse’s hand and the quartet made its way around a wall that is etched with the names of the nearly 3,000 who died in the collapse of the towers.
      Then Obama and Bush hugged some family members of those killed and went over to pay respects to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who rose to national prominence for his handling of the crisis. Also attending were present and former governors…. – LAT, 9-11-11
    • President Obama Honors 9/11 Victims at WTC Site: President Obama and his wife Michelle Obama today paid respect to 9/11 victims by visiting the North Memorial Pool in the footprint of the spot where the north tower of the World Trade Center stood on this 10th anniversary of the terrorist attack…. – ABC News, 9-11-11
    • Remembering those killed in the Sept. 11 attacks: With solemn gestures, Americans across the country mark the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks on the Pentagon in Virginia and the World Trade Center in New York…. – WaPo, 9-11-11
    • Americans mark 9/11 anniversary: The United States is commemorating the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, with the country in a sombre mood and on high security alert. President Barack Obama attended a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial at Ground Zero … – Financial Times, 9-11-11
    • America Remembers the September 11 Attacks: With solemn tributes, the United States is marking the 10th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3000 people and launched the country into a decade of war. Events were held at the sites of each attack a decade ago…. – Voice of America, 9-11-11
    • 9/11 Remembered as Officials Monitor Threat: U.S. President Barack Obama joined former President George W. Bush at the World Trade Center in Manhattan to mark the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed almost 3,000 people, reading a passage from the Bible at a ceremony attended by the families of the victims.
      Obama was later greeted with cheers and applause at a memorial in Pennsylvania, where he laid a wreath at the site near Shanksville where one of four hijacked airliners crashed. The New York ceremony, in the shadow of a new skyscraper that will be the tallest building in the U.S., took place while thousands of police officers worked overtime under a terror alert stemming from what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a “credible but not corroborated” threat.
      The president was joined at Ground Zero by Bloomberg, former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani and Governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Christopher Christie of New Jersey. The men read letters, poems and religious passages as surviving family members recited the names of the victims in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania. Also honored were the six killed in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center…. – Bloomberg, 9-11-11
    • Ground Zero ceremony honours 9/11 victims: The names of the September 11 dead, some called out by children barely old enough to remember their fallen mothers and fathers, have echoed across Ground Zero in a haunting but hopeful tribute on the 10th anniversary of the terror attacks. … – Sydney Morning Herald, 9-11-11
    • In Shanksville, Thousands Gather to Honor Flight 93 Victims: The dedication of a memorial here on Saturday to the 40 passengers and crew members who died on United Airlines Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, provided an opportunity for two former presidents to appeal for unity.
      Ten years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a special report on the decade’s costs and consequences, measured in thousands of lives, trillions of dollars and countless challenges to the human spirit.
      Neither George W. Bush nor Bill Clinton specifically mentioned the fractured state of relations in Washington. But their sharing of a stage and their comments here in a field where Flight 93 slammed into the ground stood in sharp contrast to the current discord…. – NYT, 9-10-11
    • United 93 families dedicate Sept. 11 memorial: Vice President Joe Biden joins Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush in Pennsylvania to honor the passengers and crew who fought back that day…. – LAT, 9-10-11
    • Bush, Clinton speak at memorial for Flight 93: Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton spoke solemnly Saturday at the unveiling of the memorial for victims of United Airlines Flight 93.
      “With their brave decision, they launched the first counteroffensive in the war on terror,” said Bush, who appeared emotional as he spoke near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to families and friends of those who died in the crash.
      All 40 passengers and crew members were killed after confronting hijackers aboard the Boeing 757 on the morning of September 11, 2001.
      The hijacked plane, widely believed to be targeting the White House or the U.S. Capitol, crashed in a field outside Shanksville…. – CNN, 9-10-11
    • Flight 93 Honored in Pennsylvania: The 40 passengers and crew who fought back against their hijackers aboard Flight 93, which crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania on Sept. 11 and never reached its target, were honored Saturday for their heroism in a ceremony dedicating the first phase of a memorial at the newest U.S. national park.
      “They never made it because of the determination and valor of the passengers and crew of Flight 93, that plane crashed in this field, less than 20 minutes by air” from Washington, D.C., where it appeared to be headed, said Jon Jarvis, director of the … – WSJ, 9-10-11
    • Obama, Bush, Clinton Remember Sept. 11: Former US presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton are in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for a ceremony dedicating a memorial to the victims of United Flight 93, which crashed into a field during the September 11th, 2001 attacks. … – Voice of America, 9-10-11
    • Obama tells NBC country is safer than it was 10 years ago: Reflecting on the 9/11 anniversary, President Obama told NBC News this morning that there is no doubt the United States is safer now that it was 10 years ago. He said this is a consequence of more effective homeland security and the US taking the fight…. – ABC News, 9-11-11
    • For 9/11 anniversary, Obama honors war dead at Arlington: President Barack Obama and first lady Michele Obama have visited Arlington National Cemetery where they paid tribute to members of the military killed in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
      One day before the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the Obamas made a pilgrimage to Section 60 of the cemetery. The White House says that’s the burial ground for military personnel killed in those two wars. Those conflicts have claimed 6,213 military personnel…. – The Virginian-Pilot, 9-10-11
    • George W. Bush lays wreath at Pentagon: Former President George W. Bush has paid silent tribute to Sept. 11 victims in a wreath-laying at the Pentagon.
      Bush was joined by his wife, Laura, as he placed a wreath of white flowers by the 9/11 memorial stone embedded in the wall outside Corridor 4. That’s near where hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the building, killing 184 people.
      Also at Saturday’s brief ceremony were Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, former Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen…. – Politico, 9-10-11
    • September 11 commemorated by Obama in address: President Barack Obama commemorated Sunday’s 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in his weekly address Saturday, urging the nation to come together and remember those who lost their lives. “We’re remembering the lives we lost—nearly 3000…. – Politico, 9-11-11
    • Obama pays tribute to 9/11 victims, vows America will be vigilant in weekly address: President Obama will take part in the memorial ceremony at the World Trade Center site Sunday. How concerned are you about a terrorist plot? President Obama used his weekly address to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on Sept 11…. – New York Daily News, 9-10-11
    • President Marks 9/11 Anniversary in Weekly Address: President Barack Obama used his weekly address today to mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and pay tribute to the first responders, the nation’s military members, and those who lost their lives…. – Department of Defense, 9-10-11
    • Remembering the audacity of the twin towers: The soaring twin towers of the World Trade Center became an affirmation of the American value of dreaming big. To the engineer who designed them, their loss on 9/11 remains heartbreaking, but he’s found the resilience to keep dreaming…. – CS Monitor, 9-10-11
    • How 9/11 looked from the air-traffic control center that saw it coming: The air-traffic controllers in ‘Boston Center’ – the facility that oversaw Flight 11 – speak of what happened on 9/11, from the confusion of the first moments to the frustration that military jets could not get to New York City faster…. – CS Monitor, 9-10-11
    • Witness: With President Bush after the planes hit on Sept 11: Two Reuters reporters traveled with George W. Bush on September 11, 2001 on what began as a feel-good trip to Florida to promote education.
      Here are some of their memories of that day, and those that followed, as they watched Bush’s evolution from the leader of a country enjoying peace and prosperity to a wartime president…. – Reuters, 9-11-11

Obama’s 9/11 speech: national unity, personal loss: Searching for unity long vanished since the day terrorists astonished America, President Barack Obama will hail national resilience and remember hurting families when he gives the main speech of his Sept. 11 commemorations.
Obama will honor victims at each of the sites where nearly 3,000 people were killed in the 2001 attacks — first at ground zero in lower Manhattan, then in Shanksville, Pa. and at the Pentagon. Yet his only address to the nation will come at night, lasting about 15 minutes during an event at the Kennedy Center in Washington…. – AP, 9-9-11

HISTORICAL INTERPRETATION

    • Richard Norton Smith, Michael Beschloss: Historians Discuss What’s Changed, What Hasn’t After 9/11: From Americans’ collective outrage and response right following the 9/11 attacks to today’s political divisions, Jeffrey Brown speaks with historians Michael Beschloss and Richard Norton Smith about what has changed — and what hasn’t — in the United States since the 9/11 attacks…. – PBS Newshour, 9-121-11

RICHARD NORTON SMITH, George Mason University: Well, it’s interesting. We’ve been obsessed understandably with all that’s changed. A great deal has changed. We should begin by acknowledging that the greatest change obviously is for those who lost a loved one 10 years ago today or in the subsequent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Life will never be the same for them.
To the rest of us, there’s a certain amount of trauma. I think geography is a factor. I think if you live in New York, it’s much more real than if you’re in Terre Haute. Much of what has changed, like the proverbial iceberg, is beneath the surface. Government, we’re all thinking about this, the age of cutting back on government, the fact is government has been transformed, expanded by, I saw one estimate $600 billion has been spent over the last ten years on domestic security. New agencies have been created. Old agendas have been torn up.
On the other hand, think of what hasn’t changed. We had a brief moment of unity, of coming together, of common purpose, of collective outrage and a collective response. And that seems very much to be in the rear-view mirror….

Something I think we can take great pride in, and that is if you look back at earlier wars, World War I, World War II, along with the fervor, the patriotic ardor can come fear and civil liberties can be endangered. Famously, German-Americans came under attack during World War I. Sauerkraut was renamed liberty cabbage. Beethoven records were smashed in the streets of Cincinnati. There may be a direct connection between liberty cabbage and freedom fries, but I think there has been an enormous… um, we saw Ray’s piece earlier.

The danger, and I understand her concern, the fact is there will undoubtedly people who say, we’ve built the memorial. You know, we’ve dedicated this shrine, and as you said, there are other problems that are crowding for our attention. History is not static. And certainly not in as dynamic a society as this.
On the other hand, the issues surrounding 9/11, the questions arising out of 9/11, whether it’s civil liberties, for example, or the role of government in protecting us or projecting force around the world American foreign policy, all of those that have been filtered through 9/11 will be at the heart of this election, and so in that sense the conversation goes on.

Come back in 30 or 40 years and ask whether 9/11, in fact, was as some fear the beginning of a longer period of American decline or, in fact, a springboard to a new era of American greatness.

MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, presidential historian: That’s right, you know. And right after 9/11, people said and, you know, you sure wish it had come true, that we would never have the same kind of partisan antagonism we had before because 9/11 brought us all together as Americans. And this would be not only a different country and a different politics. Go back a couple months and take a look at that congressional fight over the debt crisis and you will see that 9/11 sadly did not change our politics in that way.

Well, I think to look at a positive one, it’s you know another thing we all talked about was living in America would never be the same again. That we would be afraid to go to shopping malls, to airports or to train stations or there would be a permanent sadness in some way. Those things have not turned out to be true. So anyone who thinks that there is something in our DNA that really does make this society a group of Americans I think has been proven right.

I think for instance we were talking earlier about our own memories on 9/11. I had just been to my younger son’s kindergarten. He was just about five years old, got in the car to go home and heard the first reports of the plane crashing into the World Trade Center. He was almost five. Changed our lives. He doesn’t remember it. He doesn’t quite get it.

Well, I think one way of looking at it is you know what Churchill said about there is nothing more exhilarating than being shot at without result? We were hit on 9/11. It sure was not without result, but this country really has come back. And so, if you remember where we were ten years ago and compare that to now, I think really we should, while being very sad about what happened and those that lost their lives and their families, there’s an element of this about which we should feel exhilarated.

That is going to depend on how secure the world we live in is during the next couple of decades. If this turned out to be essentially one event, we conquered it then it will be almost a singular event in American history. But if we are living, and I’m afraid this may be true, with the scourge of terrorism through the rest of our lifetimes and beyond, this will be something that essentially opened our eyes to a reality that is going to always be there.

“The people who died on 9/11 weren’t members of the armed forces. They were civilians. They were normal people. That places this in a category all its own as a terrible, terrible day in American history. We’ve had a lot of terrible days in our history, but people never signed up for that…. It’s very visceral for a lot of people. We feel it with our guts, not our heads.” — Jonathan Earle, an associate professor of history at Kansas University

9/11 Left Permanent Scars on the American Psyche A moment in history unlike any other, experts say: “I’m a historian, not a psychologist, but I can tell you that 9/11 has affected the American mentality significantly on several fronts. Of course there’s been a loss of our sense of overall security. And there’s been a loss of our sense of preeminence in the world.
But I think 9/11 has collectively thrown us back, psychologically and politically, into a Cold War mentality. It’s the national belief, not seen since the early to mid-1980s, that we are now, again, in an intractable global struggle with no end in sight. And with that perception of increased vulnerability, there has also been a rise, which many Americans wouldn’t even necessarily realize has taken place, in our willingness to trade off civil liberties and privacy for measures that we believe will make us safer.
It’s very hard to make forecasts about how all this will all play out long-term. But you could argue that, looking back in 50 years, we’ll actually see 9/11 as a major turning point: A permanent change in the American sense of self.” — Ethan Katz, an assistant professor of history at the University of Cincinnati — MSN, 9-11-11

  • Teaching 9/11: How educators are responding 10 years later: Attempts to teach 9/11 has forced educators largely to abandon textbooks in favor of more flexible and vibrant resources – from online art to in-class presentations by witnesses…. – CS Monitor, 9-9-11
  • Teachers tackle lessons of 9/11: The question of when an event becomes history depends on who you ask, said John Johnson, a history professor at the University of Northern Iowa.
    “The sort of old-fashioned view is you need a great deal of perspective, and you probably should give a significant event like 9/11 quite a few years.”
    “I feel different. I believe the more modern view is the morning newspaper or the latest tweet is history.”
    “I would rather have professional historians weighing in on recent events along with everybody else, rather than saying, ‘As a historian, I can’t say anything for 10 years.'”
    “Revisionism is a reality of history, and it is one of the beauties of history because every event will mean different things to different generations and be looked at from different angles.” WCF Courier, 9-11-11

Full Text September 11, 2011: Vice President Joe Biden’s Speech at the 9-11 Memorial at the Pentagon, Washington DC

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

Vice President Biden Marks 9/11 Anniversary at the Pentagon

Source: WH, 9-11-11

Read the Transcript  |  Download Video: mp4 (184MB) | mp3 (18MB)

Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks at the Pentagon this morning, where 184 lives were lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the headquarters of the nation’s Department of Defense. Vice President Biden joined Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen at the ceremony set beside the Pentagon Memorial – 184 silver benches, one for each victim, shaded by maple trees.

But before they made their way across the Potomac, the Vice President and Dr. Biden had a quick stop to make – nearby DC Fire Department Engine 20, Truck 12, where they surprised the firefighters on duty with coffee, breakfast, and words of thanks.

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden thank DC firefighters on 9/11

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden visit firefighters at D.C. Fire Department Engine 20, truck 12, in Washington, DC., Sep. 11, 2011. The Vice President and Dr. Biden stopped by with coffee and breakfast to thank the firefighters for their service. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

The Vice President later remarked on the heroism displayed by DCFD firefighters and other first responders from across the region 10 years ago today. “They sprang to action,” he said, “risking their lives so their friends, their colleagues and total strangers, people they had never met, might live.”

But speaking directly to the families in the audience, Vice President Biden noted something they knew in their hearts before that fateful day. “That your loved ones, those who you lost, who we now call heroes, were already heroes. They were already heroes to you.”

Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Pentagon on 9/11

Vice President Joe Biden speaks in front of the Pentagon during a 9/11 Anniversary Service at the Pentagon, in Arlington, VA. Sep. 11, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

“They were the father that tucked you in at night,” he said.  They were the wife who knew your fears before even before you expressed them.  They were the brother who lifted you up.  They were the daughter who made you laugh, and the son who made you proud. … I know in my heart, so do all of the people on this stage know, that they are absolutely irreplaceable – absolutely irreplaceable.”
Vice President Biden went on to describe how out of this tragedy came a new generation of patriots, the 9/11 generation – 2.8 million of whom joined the military since 9/11.
“The true legacy of 9/11 is that our spirit is mightier, the bonds that unite us are thicker, and the resolve is firmer than the million tons of limestone and concrete that make up that great edifice behind me,” the Vice President said. “Al Qaeda and bin Laden never imagined that the 3,000 people who lost their lives that day would inspire 3 million to put on the uniform and harden the resolve of 300 million Americans.  They never imagined the sleeping giant they were about to awaken. They never imagined these things because they did not understand what enables us, what has always enabled us to withstand any test that comes our way.”

 POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

Remarks by Vice President Biden at the Pentagon 9/11 10th Anniversary Commemoration

Source: WH, 9-11-11
The Pentagon

10:00 A.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Good morning.  Mr. Secretary, it’s I’m the one who is honored to be given the privilege to speak at such an important memorial ceremony.

Admiral Mullen, Speaker Boehner, members of our armed forces and above all, the family members gathered in front of me who suffered such a grievous loss here 10 years ago today.  My wife, Jill, and I want you to know our heart goes out to you.

And those of you who survived that cowardly act, I say it again, I’m the one that’s honored to be here with you.  To the family members, I know what it’s like to receive that call out of the blue, that the dearest thing in your life is gone.  I know these memorials — and you’ve been through many — are bittersweet moments for you because as you sit here right now, unlike a month ago, everything has come back in stark relief.  It’s not a thought.  It’s precise.  You remember that God-awful empty feeling you remember being sucked into your own chest, that feeling of hollowness.  So I want you to know that I personally believe that the courage you’re showing today is remarkable.  It’s hard to come back.  You have that sense of overwhelming pride and love and devotion, but also that feeling of “oh, my God.”

But I want you to know something else, your physical presence here today gives hope to thousands of Americans who under different circumstances are trying to come to grips with the losses that you had that they’re going through.  Because when they see — they see you here, you let them know that hope can grow from tragedy, and that there can be a second life.

My mom used to say, Joe, at everything terrible something good will come if you look hard enough for it.  In the beginning there’s no way to believe that.  You’re living proof to those people who are still scrambling and looking for that hope that it’s possible.

So let me say that our thoughts — Jill’s thoughts, mine, the whole nation’s thoughts and prayers are with those who also were wounded in this attack last night — wounded in an attack last night in Wardak Province, a stark and vivid reminder this war continues.  The courage, determination and the sacrifices of our forces in Afghanistan and around the world is literally astounding.  I’ll have a little more to say about that in just a moment.

Ladies and gentlemen, milestones are especially — and especially those that are tragic -— compel us to reflect and to remember, to honor and, with God’s help, to heal because that’s what this is ultimately about.

And so today, above all else, we recall 148 [sic] lives cut short on this site 10 years ago this morning -— lives that touched every aspect of our national endeavor: a Marine who lost his leg, and nearly his life, in Vietnam but who used what he called a “second chance” to become a father of five; a three-year-old passenger aboard that fateful flight, who held her stuffed “lambie” each night, as her parents read her bedtime stories; the secretary who worked for American Airlines for 45 years, whose colleagues considered her a second mother, and who dressed as Mrs. Claus each Christmas; the Navy physicist, whose wife said after his death: “He was a wonderful dancer.  I’ll never be able to dance with anybody else.  He was a perfect partner.  And above all, he was a good, caring and loving man.”

And so, so many others are remembered this morning with the moments of silence in small towns and bustling cities all across this country.  But nowhere are the memories more immediate, more vivid, more compelling, more real than in New York City; Shanksville, Pennsylvania and right here in Northern Virginia at the Pentagon.

Although words cannot ease the pain of these losses -— paying tribute by recalling not just the horror of that day but the heroism as well can hopefully give you some comfort and stiffen the resolve of this nation.

At 9:36 a.m., thousands of patriotic Americans were going about their daily business in the building behind me, in this great citadel of our national defense.  And one minute later, 9:37 a.m., an unconscionable tragedy struck.

But what happened — what happened after that was far more remarkable than the damage inflicted in the building behind me. Those who worked in this building, many of you in front of me, and thousands more first responders across the region –firefighters from Arlington County, Fairfax County, Montgomery County, the District of Columbia and many others, they sprang to action, risking their lives so their friends, their colleagues and total strangers, people they had never met, might live.

From corporals to cafeteria workers, right up the chain of the command to the top brass, to Secretary Rumsfeld, who I pay special tribute today; I understand he is here.  Secretary Rumsfeld himself did what he did as a young soldier, a young man, and did all his life — you and he and others streamed into that breach between the 4th and 5th corridors, where the devastation was the greatest, where death came in an instant, but also where there were survivors to be found.

Specialist Beau Doboszenski was a tour guide that morning, on the far side of the building -— so far away, in fact, he never heard the plane hit.  But he shortly felt the commotion.  He could have gone home -— no one would have blamed him.  But he was also a trained EMT and came from a family of firefighters. So when people started streaming out of the building and screaming, he sprinted toward the crash site.  For hours, he altered between treating his co-workers and dashing into the inferno with a team of six men.

Micky Fyock, a volunteer fire chief in Woodsboro, Maryland, 60 miles away, after working all day, when he heard that evening that the rescue workers at the Pentagon needed a fire truck — a small fire truck, small enough to fit through tight places, he knew he had a ‘54 Mack, which was the smallest one around.  So fresh off an all-day shift, he barreled down the highway and battled the blaze all night with thousands of others.

And at dawn, exhausted and covered with soot — with soot, 14 hours on the job, he sat on a bench and confronted [sic] a man — a man who he said was wondering aloud, why am I still alive for had I not been at the dentist, I would have been in the office, my office, totally destroyed, with my colleagues gone.  Why me?

It’s a basic American instinct to respond to crises when help is needed, to confront [sic] the afflicted.   An American instinct summoned by the collective strength of the American people that we see come to the fore in our darkest hours, an instinct that echoes through the ages -— from Pearl Harbor, to Beirut; from Mogadishu to Ground Zero; Flight 93 to right here in the Pentagon.

Those in this building that day knew what they were witnesses.  It was a declaration of war by stateless actors — bent on changing our way of life — who believed that these horrible acts of terror — these horrible acts of terror directed against innocents could buckle our knees, could bend our will, could being to break us and break our resolve.

But they did not know us.  Instead, that same American instinct that sent all of you into the breach between the 4th and 5th corridors, galvanized an entire new generation of patriots —- the 9/11 Generation.

Many of them were just kids on that bright September morning.  But like their grandparents on December 7, 1941, they courageously bore the burden that history had placed on their shoulders.

And as they came of age, they showed up — they showed up to fight for their country, and they’re still showing up.  Two million, eight hundred thousand of that 9/11 Generation moved to join our military since the attacks on 9/11, to finish the war begun here that day.

And they joined — they joined knowing that they were in all likelihood going to be deployed in harm’s way -— and in many cases deployed multiple, multiple times in Afghanistan and Iraq and other dangerous parts of the world.

Those of you, Admiral, who command this building turned this generation, this 9/11 Generation into the finest group of warriors the world has ever known.

Over a decade at war, they pioneered new tactics, mastered new languages, developed and employed advanced new technologies.  They took on responsibilities once reserved only for those with considerably more seniority -— responsibilities that extended beyond the base or the battlefield to the politics of Afghanistan, to the politics of Iraq, to the economies of those countries, and to the development tasks that ultimately will lay the groundwork for us to leave behind stable countries that will not threaten us.

And along with the intelligence community and the law enforcement community, they relentlessly took the fight to al Qaeda and its affiliates.  They were prepared to follow bin Laden to the hell’s gate if necessary.  And they got him.

My God do we owe those special ops folks and intelligence guys who got him, many of whom have subsequently lost their lives.  But we will not stop -— you will not stop —- until al Qaeda is not only disrupted, but completely dismantled and ultimately destroyed.

And one more thing about this 9/11 generation of warriors — never before in our history has America asked so much, over such a sustained period, of an all-volunteer force.  So I can say without fear of contradiction, or being accused of exaggeration, the 9/11 Generation ranks among the greatest our nation has ever produced.  And it was born — it was born — it was born right here on 9/11.  (Applause.)

And as the Admiral said, that generation has paid an incredible price -— 4,478 fallen angels in Iraq and 1,648 in Afghanistan, and more than 40,000 wounded in both countries, some who will require care and support the rest of their lives.

Having visited them multiple times like many of you, I am awed not only by their capability, but their sacrifice today and every day.

The terrorists who attacked the Pentagon, as Leon said, sought to weaken America by shattering this defining symbol of our military might and prowess.  But they failed.  And they also failed for another reason, not just physically failed.  They failed because they continue to fundamentally misunderstand us, as they misunderstood us on that day.  For the true source of American power does not lie within that building because as Americans, we draw our strength from the rich tapestry of our people — just looking at the people before me, looking at the families before me.

The true legacy of 9/11 is that our spirit is mightier, the bonds that unite us are thicker, and the resolve is firmer than the million tons of limestone and concrete that make up that great edifice behind me.

Al Qaeda and bin Laden never imagined that the 3,000 people who lost their lives that day would inspire 3 million to put on the uniform and harden the resolve of 300 million Americans.  They never imagined the sleeping giant they were about to awaken.

They never imagined these things because they did not understand what enables us, what has always enabled us to withstand any test that comes our way.  But you understood.  You knew better than anyone because you knew every time this nation has been attacked — you particularly who wear the uniform — every time this nation is attacked, you knew it only emboldens us to stand up and to strike back.

But you family members, you also knew something else that a lot of us didn’t know that day, that your loved ones, those who you lost, who we now call heroes, were already heroes.  They were already heroes to you.

They were the father that tucked you in at night.  They were the wife who knew your fears before even before you expressed them.  They were the brother who lifted you up.  They were the daughter who made you laugh, and the son who made you proud.  I know.  I know in my heart, so do all of the people on this stage know, that they are absolutely irreplaceable — absolutely irreplaceable.

As the Speaker heard me say yesterday in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, no memorial, no ceremony, no words will ever fill the void left in your hearts by their loss.  My prayer for you is that, 10 years later, when you think of them — 10 years later when you think of them that it brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.

My mom used to say that courage lies in every man’s heart, and her expectation was that one day — one day it would be summoned.  Well, here, on September 11, 2001, at exactly 9:37 a.m., it was summoned.  It was summoned from the hearts of the thousands of people who worked here to save hundreds.  It was summoned in the hearts of all those first responders who answered the call.  For courage lies deepest in and beats the loudest in the heart of Americans.  Don’t forget it.  We will not forget them.

May God bless you all.  May God bless America.  And most of all, may God protect our Troops.  (Applause.)

END
10:20 A.M. EDT

On This Day in History… September 11, 2001 Headlines: 10th Anniversary of the 9/11 Terror Attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers, Pentagon & Flight 93

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:

Day in History

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

IN FOCUS: 10th ANNIVERSARY OF 9/11 TERROR ATTACKS

25 Most Powerful Photos

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY….

On this day in history… September 11, 2001… Terrorists hijack two passenger planes crashing them into New York’s World Trade Towers causing the collapse of the 110-story twin towers& death of 2,752 people.
Terrorists hijack a passenger plane and crash it into the Pentagon causing the death of 125 people.
Attempt by passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 to retake control of their hijacked plane from terrorists causes plane to crash in Pennsylvania field killing all 64 people onboard.

September 11, 2001: The Pictures We Remember: One decade after 9/11, an unsettling number of images from Ground Zero and environs remain seared in our collective memory — unsurprising, perhaps, given the scope and scale of the destruction. But the fact that the deadliest, most visually arresting attacks occurred in New York City also meant that many of the world’s best photographers were, in effect, already on the scene when the terrorists struck. Here, to mark the tenth anniversary of 9/11, and in hopes of lending coherence to our shared, turbulent recollections, LIFE.com presents the 25 most stirring, visceral photographs from that day, featuring pictures from the likes of James Nachtwey, Joe Raedle, Spencer Platt, Mario Tama, and other celebrated photojournalists (and one intrepid amateur). These are the pictures we remember: wrenching, indelible photographs that tell the tale of a still-resonant late summer day that changed everything….. READ MORE

HEADLINES… NEW YORK TIMES SEPTEMBER 11, 2001

A DAY OF TERROR: COMMUNICATIONS; A Flood of Anxious Calls Clog Phone Lines:
Terrorist attacks in New York City and at Pentagon cause significant but temporary disruptions in telephone service in Northeast; major telecommunications carriers say problem was caused not by physical damage but by network overloads as extraordinary numbers of people tried to make calls in aftermath of incident; handful of television stations are knocked from airwaves after loss of transmitter atop World Trade Cente….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ARABS; Condemnations From Arab Governments, but Widely Different Attitudes on the Street:
Arab governments condemn terrorist attacks in United States, but there is something of sense of inevitability in region whose leaders have warned for months that American support for Israel could have violent consequences; some Arabs say terrorists may well be American, but intense speculation focuses on Osama bin Laden or related organizations; all Palestinian groups deny any involvement; photo of celebration in Palestinian refugee camp near Beirut….

NYC; When the Unimaginable Happens, and It’s Right Outside Your Window:
Clyde Haberman comments on terrorists’ destruction of World Trade Center, observing that Americans have now experienced what Israelis have to face every day….

A DAY OF TERROR; Bush’s Remarks to the Nation on the Terrorist Attacks:
Transcript of address to nation by Pres Bush following terrorists attacks against US using hijacked jetliners….

A DAY OF TERROR: FINAL MOMENTS; Solicitor General Got 2 Calls From Wife on Doomed Plane:
Theodore B Olson, solicitor general of US, relates two cell phone conversations he had with his wife Barbara after she had been herded into back of hijacked airplane that eventually smashed into Pentagon; says pilot was apparently with Barbara Olson in back of plane; says she was trying to do something….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE HOPES; Survivors Are Found In the Rubble:
Desperate efforts to rescue those trapped under tons of twisted rubble around towers of World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan, which collapsed after they were rammed by hijacked jetliners, described….

BASEBALL; Cashman Accounts for Players as Stadium Is Evacuated:
New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman starts accounting for members of team who live in Manhattan, networking with others, on morning of terrorist attack of World Trade Center and Pentagon; Yankee Stadium is evacuated and closed….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Some New Yorkers voice intense anger at terrorist attacks; some express express shock at failure to prevent such attacks in first place….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Broker working on 55th floor of 2 World Trade Center describes making it to street, where he finds piece of paper listing airliner’s itinerary and information about flight from Boston to Los Angeles….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Roundup of personal accounts of people during morning rush hour as they learned of catastrophe at World Trade Center….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Ferry boat crew member recalls how on day before German tourists were exclaiming how beautiful World Trade Center is, and now it’s gone….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE RESPONSE; Rescue Workers Rush In, And Many Do Not Return:
Attempts by New York City firefighters to rescue occupants of World Trade Center towers after they are rammed by hijacked jetliners described; instinctive efforts may have cost many their lives; 200 remain unaccounted after explosions collapse two main towers onto first wave of rescuers as they snake through stairwells and hallways; loss may be worst disaster in New York City Fire Department’s history….

A DAY OF TERROR: INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES; Officials Say They Saw No Signs of Increased Terrorist Activity:
Counterterrorism officials say that electronic eavesdropping intercepts obtained in hours after attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon indicate that terrorist operation was carried out by militant Islamic organization headed by Osama bin Laden; say they had no precise warning of attack, even as civilian flight controllers apparently tracked commercial aircraft involved in attacks as they veered far from their normal flight paths over northeastern US; acknowledge failure to detect any sign…

A DAY OF TERROR: VULNERABILITY; Physical and Psychological Paralysis of Nation:
Attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon shut down much of United States, compelling Americans to acknowledge that nameless terrorists can engage in multiple acts of war inside world’s most powerful country; overwhelming desire to do something to help victims sweeps much of country, creating crowds at blood centers; many Americans at first demand quick response against terrorists only to have their anger smothered in shadows that surround their enemy….

A DAY OF TERROR: HOSPITALS; Pictures of Medical Readiness, Waiting and Hoping for Survivors to Fill Their Wards:
Comment on scene at New York City hospitals in aftermath of wholesale carnage at World Trade Center; at hospitals throughout lower Manhattan, hundreds of doctors and nurses work as though all are part of one bit MASH unnit, tending to wounded at front lines of war….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE BACKGROUND; A Trend Toward Attacks That Emphasize Deaths:
American civilians at home and abroad have been targets of largest and most destructive terrorist attacks of last quarter-century, including Pan Am flight 103, bombing of federal office building in Oklahoma City and bombing of US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania; terrorism experts say coordinated attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon are culmination of 20-year trend toward assaults that aim to kill many people in technically complex operations, often orchestrated by assailants….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT; Driven Underground, Administration and Congressional Officials Stay on the Job:
Terrorist attacks in Washington and New York using hijacked planes force top officials and quarter-million federal workers out of offices on Capitol Hill and drive government underground to secure retreats for much of day; Congressional leaders are evacuated to undisclosed secure location outside Washington following attack on Pentagon; later return with pledge of bipartisan solidarity; Pres Bush returns to White House from Florida, following zig-zag route through two successive Air Force bases….

A DAY OF TERROR: TRANSPORTATION; With City Transit Shut Down, New Yorkers Take to Eerily Empty Streets:
Subway services is shut down across New york City after terrorist attack on World Trade Center; buses, ferries, taxis and gypsy vans are overtaxed, and New Yorkers make their way through eerily empty streets on foot; photos show second plane slamming into south towe….

A DAY OF TERROR: TERRORIST VIGIL; Security Alerts Go Into Effect Across Nation:
Hundreds of thousands of workers in government buildings and prominent office towers across US are sent home early, leaving downtown areas large and small in wake of terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon….

A DAY OF TERROR: TRANSPORTATION; Left to Fend for Themselves, a Nation of Travelers Scrambles for Transit Options:
United States goes into gridlock as terrorist attacks in New York and Washington lead to virtual shutdown of nation’s transportation system, including grounding of every airplane in country; bus and train companies shut down as well….

The War Against America; The National Defense:
Editorial says terrorist attacks on New York and Washington make it imperative for nation to determine how an open and democratic society can better defend itself against terrorist threat that conventional armies and weapons cannot defeat; says nation must get better and more timely intelligence, which is best defense against terrorism, and light but lethal weapons to attack terrorist compounds in remote locations; says US must make it clear to its allies that they can no longer stand on sidelines…

A DAY OF TERROR: SECURITY; Boston’s Airport Security Is Described as Standard:
Investigators begin trying to pinpoint how terrorists managed to penetrate two airliners that set off from Logan International Airport in Boston and ultimately slammed into World Trade Center in New York; Logan’s level of security is considered typical of large international airports….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE WORRIES; Families and Friends Hoping for Reassurance Find Frustration and Anguish:
Comment on anguish and frustration felt by families and friends waiting for news about loved ones who were at World Trade Center…

Many Sporting Events Called Off or Postponed:
Terrorist attacks at World Trade Center and Pentagon cause cancellation or postponement of numerous sports events in US….

A DAY OF TERROR: SECURITY; Fear’s Ripple: Closing Down, Tightening Up:
Attack on World Trade Center prompts scores of other buildings and institutions near and far to close their doors, send workers home and take measures to heighten security; photo of grounded airliners at Minneapolis-St Paul International Airpor…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VICTIMS; Talk Show Figure and TV Producer Among Lost Passenger:
Among airline passengers killed in terrorist attack on World Trade Center are Berry Berenson, the photographer and widow of actor Tony Perkins, Barbara B Olson, talk show personality and wife of Solicitor General Theodore B Olson, and David Angell, executive producer of television show Frasier….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AFGHANS; Condemning Attacks, Taliban Says bin Laden Not Involved:
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers condemn terrorist attacks on America and say Osama bin Laden, terrorist suspect they are sheltering, was not involved; contend they have insisted that bin Laden refrain from political and military activities while in Afghanistan, but American intelligence officials believe that bin Laden’s ties with Taliban are increasingly close and that his freedom of movement may have increased in recent months….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE WORLD’S REACTION; European Nations Stand With U.S., Ready to Respond:
World’s governments express solidarity with US as democracy under attack; European Union and NATO officials will meet to discuss common approach to battle against terrorism; European officials quietly discuss how to assist US if it engages in military action in retaliation; Pres Vladimir Putin of Russia expresses support for retaliation; comments by other European leaders note….

A DAY OF TERROR: CONGRESS; Horror Knows No Party As Lawmakers Huddle:
Dozens of members of Congress from both parties stand side by side on East Front of Capitol and declare they will stand united behind Pres Bush and not bow to attack on nation’s freedom; twilight tableau intended to help calm nation is capped with singing of God Bless America; Capitol and nearby Senate and House office buildings are evacuated earlier in day after assault on Pentagon….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ECONOMY; A Tragedy Adds More Confusion To the Outlook For U.S. Economy:
World Trade Center tragedy cancels all forecasts about American economy, and whatever happens next in US, in turn, will inevitably affect global economic outlook; big issue, beyond huge initial costs of repairing damage caused by attack, centers on whether American consumers might stop spending until they know who is responsible for assaults and whether they might happen again

A DAY OF TERROR: IN THE CAPITAL; In the Day’s Attacks and Explosions, Official Washington Hears the Echoes of Earlier One:
Many of capital’s elder statesmen reach back to Pearl Harbor for apt comparison with terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon, and many of them regard Sept 11 attack as worse of the two; photo of members of Congress singing God Bless America….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE GOVERNMENT; Trying to Command an Emergency When the Emergency Command Center Is Gone:
New York City’s two-year-old Emergency Command Center, World Trade Center, is supposed to act as nerve center in any calamity but is rendered useless within minutes after hijacked jetliners crash into both towers of World Trade Center, causing their collapse; emergency officials say despite all planning that occurred after bombing in 1993, none of scenarios played out envisioned such a disaster, which had potential to kill all those responding….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE PSYCHOLOGY; Attackers Believed To Be Sane:
Experts on psychology of terrorism hold that attacks visited on New York and Washington were in all likelihood work of perfectly sane people, not madmen; studies suggest people willing to sacrifice their lives in such attack are almost never disturbed loners sometimes conjured by news media or by Hollywood films, but are almost always part of larger organization that has recruited them, tested their courage and trained them to carry out their missions with precision….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE TALK ONLINE; Web Offers Both News And Comfort:
Major news Web sites were quickly overloaded, and many links to not-so-major news sites stopped working as result shortly after terrorist attacks in New York City and at Pentagon using hijacked jetliners; sites served not only as sources of information but for conversations and forums about tragedy….

A DAY OF TERROR: VERBATIM; Bush Aides Speak Out On Attacks:
Excerpts from statements deploring terrorist attack on US using hijacked planes by Defense Sec Donald Rumsfeld, Transportation Sec Norman Mineta, Atty Gen John Ashcroft, House Speaker J Dennis Hastert and Senate majority leader Sen Tom Daschle….

Reaction From Around the World:
World reaction to terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and Pentagon, using hijacked jetliners, discussed….

Metro Matters; City Turns, Temporarily, Into a Small Town:
Crashing of jetliners by hijackers into World Trade Center in Manhattan is new degree of horror for New York City, which has had its share of traumatic experiences; reaction of residents demonstrates that city knows how to survive unspeakable trauma, turning itself into small town when visited by tragedy (Metro Matters)….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ELECTIONS; Pataki Orders Postponement Of Primaries Across State:
Gov George E Pataki orders primary elections across New York State postponed indefinitely as city officials struggle to cope with terrorist attack on World Trade Center….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AIRLINES; Scores of U.S.-Bound Planes Are Diverted to Canadian Airports:
Scores of planes from around world are redirected to Canadian airports as United States closes its airspace after terrorist attacks in New York and Washington; domestic Canadian airlines cancel all flights as airports prepare to accept diverted airplanes….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MEASUREMENT; Columbia’s Seismographs Log Quake-Level Impacts:
Crash of two hijacked planes into World Trade Center in Manhattan and collapse of two towers create shock waves that register on sensitive instruments at Columbia University meant to monitor earthquakes….

BASEBALL; Mets Wait on Word: No makeup date has been determined for game between New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates canceled in wake of attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Former Sen George Mitchell, man with long experience trying to defuse terrorism in Northern Ireland and Middle East, finds himself waiting for subway train at 168th Street and Broadway, trying to get home; his flight to Washington from La Guardia was canceled because of World Trade Center disaster; he describes such a terrorist act as being ‘war itself’….

A DAY OF TERROR; Calling for Help Or to Give Help:
At least three businesses in trade center set up phone numbers for those looking for friends or relatives: Morgan Stanley, largest tenant with 3,500 employees, Empire Blue Cross and Aon Risk Services

U.S. ATTACKED; President Vows to Exact Punishment for ‘Evil’:
Hijackers ram two jetliners into World Trade Center towers in New York City, eventually toppling them in hellish storm of ash, glass, smoke and leaping victims; third plane crashes into Pentagon in Virginia, and fourth plunges to ground near Pittsburgh; military is put on highest state of alert; National Guard units are called out in Washington and New York; two aircraft carriers are dispatched to New York harbor; Pres Bush, who remained aloft on Air Force One shortly after attacks, later addressed…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE FEDERAL RESERVE; The Financial World Is Left Reeling by Attack:
US Government, concerned that terrorist attack could ignite economic and financial problems in US and around world, scrambles to reassure markets and keep global slowdown from becoming something worse; Federal Reserve issues statement saying it is operating as normal and is making credit available to banks that might need it; banks report no major problems, and financial markets are closed, masking what could be considerable difficulties whenever they reopen; markets will remain closed Sept 12…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MILITARY; U.S. Armed Forces Are Ordered on Highest State of Alert to Protect and Reassure:
Jet fighters fly patrols over New York and Washington, and warships steam along Atlantic and Pacific coasts in case they are needed to protect major cities and landmarks from another wave of suicide attacks; military officials appear before reporters in effort to assure public that damage to Pentagon has not diminished military’s ability to carry out its mission; say search for survivors at Pentagon will take priority over retaliation; every member of US armed forces and every installation….

THE PRESIDENT; A Somber Bush Says Terrorism Cannot Prevail:
Pres Bush vows to retaliate against those responsible for terrorist attacks on New York and Washington; addresses nation from Oval Office; declares he will make no distinction between terrorists who hijacked passenger jetliners and crashed them into World Trade Center and Pentagon and those who harbor them; says terrorist acts cannot touch foundation of America; says America saw evil and very worst of human nature….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE OPERATION; Terrorism Carefully Synchronized and Devastatingly Effective:
Simultaneous highjacking of four airliners and successful use of three of them as flying bombs against World Trade Center and Pentagon represent ingenious marriage of old-school hijacking and ever-more-familiar suicide bomb; terrorists managed to board flights undetected, overcome flight attendants, penetrate cockpits and put one of their own in control of aircraft; synchronization of attacks in New York and Washington noted….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE REACTION; Absorbing a Blow to the Heart of America’s Financial Center:
Many corporations, reeling from attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon, suspend operations, closing offices, scrambling plans and struggling to maintain contact with workers; business on Wall Street and in much of downtown New York comes to halt, and offices in major cities are evacuated; Morgan Stanley employs some 3,500 people in World Trade Center, many at its individual-investor operations….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Passengers on US Airways flight circling over Westchester County (NY), waiting to land at La Guardia Airport, react to captain informing them they will be unable to land at La Guardia because an American Airlines Boeing 767 had crashed into World Trade Center…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
John L Tishman, chmn of Tishman Realty and Construction Company, which served as construction manager of World Trade Center three decades ago, joins other Tishman executives in watching disaster unfold at World Trade Center; as South Tower crumbles, Tishman is speechless, and later, wordlessly, goes home….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
New Jersey residents view attack on World Trade Center as speechless and helpless spectators….

A DAY OF TERROR: AN ASSESSMENT; When an Open Society Is Wielded as a Weapon Against Itself:
News analysis of terrorist attacks against US; by hijacking civilian airliners and ramming them into World Trade Center and Pentagon, ‘new kamikazes’ of 21st century used very accessibility of an open society as weapon against it; lesson seems to be that even superior military power is vulnerable and may have inadequate defense against terrorism….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE TIES; In U.S., Echoes of Rift Of Muslims and Jews:
Muslims and Arab-Americans across US brace for repercussions from terrorist attacks on New York and Washington even though there is no definitive information yet about who was behind them; attack resonates particularly among Muslims and Jews, whose kin in Middle East are locked in bitter battle; Muslims struggle to assert their identities as loyal American citizens and to say their religion does not approve of violence against innocents; Jews, meanwhile, cannot help linking victimization of Ameican….

A DAY OF TERROR: WASHINGTON; Stunned Tourists, Gridlocked Streets, Fleeing and Fear: White House and Old Executive Building are frantically evacated as government-wide security alert spreads across Washington in wake of terrorist attack on Pentagon; bureaucrats and other workers run screaming down Pennsylvania Avenue; traffic gridlock grips city; city eventually empties to await return of Pres Bush, and eerie mood prevails as armored vehicles and military policemen take posts at key intersections downtown….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Cab driver who emigrated from Egypt nine years ago responds to terrorist attack by expressing his love for America, observing that it is country that tries to help everybody….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Woman working on 82nd floor of World Trade Center, who had been in building during 1993 explosion, describes how after making it down staircase to street, she experienced horror of seeing mangled and dismembered bodies….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Harriet Cordero, who repairs office equipment, was supposed to go to World Trade Center at 9 am to repair postal machine for company there, but she decided to stop first to make another service call at an office building on Broadway–decision that most likely saved her life….

A DAY OF TERROR; Some Embassies to Stay Closed Today:
At least 12 American embassies to remain closed on Sept 12 in wake of terrorist attacks at home….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE VOICES; Personal Accounts of a Morning Rush That Became the Unthinkable:
Reaction of passengers on train heading to Pennsylvania Station upon seeing World Trade Center towers in flames….

Living Up to ‘Bravest’ and ‘Finest’ Slogans:
Photo of people standing on window ledges of World Trade Center’s north tower as it burns; photos of firefighters exhausted from their labors and mourning lost colleagues….

U.S. ATTACKED; HIJACKED JETS DESTROY TWIN TOWERS AND HIT PENTAGON IN DAY OF TERROR:
Article describes scenes of horror in Lower Manhattan after World Trade Center towers were rammed by two hijacked jetliners….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE REACTION; A Tough City Is Swept by Anger, Despair and Helplessness:
Article describes mood in Manhattan following crashing of two hijacked jetliners into towers of World Trade Center; New Yorkers become united; are emotional and easily moved to sudden tears as well as acts of kindnesses….

A DAY OF TERROR: NEWS ANALYSIS; Awaiting the Aftershocks:
News analysis of terrorist attacks on World Trade Center towers in New York City and on Pentagon with hijacked jetliners; devastating and astonishingly well-coordinated attacks plunge nation into warlike struggle against enemy that will be hard to identify and certainly hard to punish with precision; sense of security and self-confidence that Americans take as birthright suffers grievous blow, from which recovery will be slow….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE BUILDINGS; Towers Believed to Be Safe Proved Vulnerable to an Intense Jet Fuel Fire, Experts Say:
Experts in skyscraper design say cause of collapse of twin towers of World Trade Center in Manhattan following crash by hijacked jetliners was most likely intense fire fed by thousands of gallons of jet fuel; high temperatures of perhaps 1,000 to 2,000 degrees probably weakened steel supports, causing external walls to buckle and floors above to fall straight down–leading to catastrophic failures of rest of buildings….

A DAY OF TERROR: ATTACK ON MILITARY; A Hijacked Boeing 757 Slams Into the Pentagon, Halting the Government:
Hijackers slam Boeing 757 jetliner into Pentagon, triggering thunderous explosion and fierce fires at defense complex and killing and wounding unknown number of people; surprise assault, first in history of 58-year-old building, is within hour of attack on World Trade Center towers in New York City; American Airlines Boeing 757 jetliner with 58 passengers and six crew members is used in attack; fuel-laden plane, diverted while on Washington-Los Angeles flight, slams into west wall of five-sided…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MARKETS; Stocks Tumble Abroad; Exchanges in New York Never Opened for the Day:
Financial markets plunge in Europe and Latin America before trading is halted after attacks that destroy World Trade Center and damage Pentagon; American markets do not open and will remain closed Sept 12; it will be first time that news has kept New York Stock Exchange closed for two full days since Great Depression; stocks fall 4.6 percent in Spain and 8.5 percent in Germany; price of Brent crude oil for November delivery jumps to $28.87 per barrel, up $1.50; price of gold at afternoon fixing…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MEDIA; As an Attack Unfolds, A Struggle to Provide Vivid Images to Homes:
Article appraises news coverage of terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and Pentagon with hijacked jetliners….

BASEBALL; Selig, in a Sense of Mourning, Cancels Baseball Games:
Major League Baseball Comr Bud Selig calls off full schedule of 15 games and says he will make subsequent decisions on future games in wake of terrorist attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon; it is third time in history that warlike act prompted postponement of major league games; Selig comment….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE MILITANT; America the Vulnerable Meets a Ruthless Enemy:
Terrorist attacks against World Trade Center and against Pentagon, using hijacked airliners and possibly killing thousands, underscores vulnerability of world’s only superpower that has been concern of American defense experts, but has been studied and celebrated by many of terrorist groups that are on list of suspects believed responsible for attacks…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE RIVERS; A Battered Retreat On Bridges To the East:
Survivors of disaster at World Trade Center make exodus over East River bridges to get out of lower Manhattan; they walk in bewilderment and fear, many covered with ash; the strong try to assist the weak; photo of scene on Queensboro Bridge….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AIRLINES; For the First Time, the Nation’s Entire Airspace Is Shut Down:
Federal Aviation Administration shuts down airspace over United States to commercial traffic minutes after two commercial jets slam into World Trade Center, first time government has taken such drastic step; all planes on ground are barred from taking off, and those in air are given option of continuing to their intended destinations or diverting to nearest airport; most airlines order their plans to land as soon as possible, placing thousands of passengers far away from where they intended to …

A DAY OF TERROR: THE SCHOOLS; Parents Converge to Take Students Home, and Officials Seek to Keep Safe Those Who Remain:
Parents converge on schools to take their children home, or phone their children to tell them that their mothers or fathers are all right; school officials seek to keep safe those children who remain….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE THREAT; Bush Aides Say Attacks Don’t Recast Shield Debate:
Bush administration aides say terrorist attacks against US using hijacked jetliners should not recast debate over usefulness of proposed missile defense system since shield, which is centerpiece of administration’s national security planning, even though proposed shield could not prevent kind of assaults that occurred on World Trade Center and Pentagon….

WILLIAM SAFIRE: Essay; New Day Of Infamy:
William Safire Op-Ed column holds that US must pulverize bases and camps of groups responsible for attacks on World Trade Center and Pentagon once their identities are reasonably ascertained; says piloting expertise needed to slam airliners into targets suggests connection with Egyptair crash of 1999; says US intelligence agencies will need a shakeup; praises New York State Governor George E Pataki and Mayor Rudolph W Giuliani for sticking to their posts and reassuring citizens, and says Pres Bush…

A DAY OF TERROR: THE AIRPORTS; Security Long a Concern At United States Airports:
Investigators say terrorists who hijacked four airplanes from three airports on Sept 11 exploited inadequacies in security that they have been warning about for more than a decade….

The War Against America; An Unfathomable Attack:
Editorial says unfathomable terrorist attack on World Trade Center and Pentagon is one of those moments in which history splits and we define the world as ‘before’ and ‘after’; says that if four planes can be taken over simultaneously by suicidal hijackers, then Americans can never be quite sure again that any bad intention can be thwarted, no matter how irrational or loathsome; says it will be hard to match desire for retribution with need for certainty and with knowledge that lives of civilians….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE ISRAELIS; Spilled Blood Is Seen as Bond That Draws 2 Nations Closer:
Israeli officials and most Palestinian leaders, including Yasir Arafat, condemn terrorist attack on United States, but Israelis also take cold comfort in concluding that Americans will now share more of their fears, while some Palestinians rejoice at same thought; big crowds of Palestinians march in celebration in Nablus on West Bank….

A DAY OF TERROR: CRITIC’S NOTEBOOK; Live Images Make Viewers Witnesses to Horror:
Critic’s Notebook column appraises television coverage of collapse of World Trade Center towers after terrorists attacked them with hijacked jetliners….

A DAY OF TERROR: THE WARNINGS; Years of Unheeded Alarms:
Terrorist attacks against US using hijacked airliners come after years of debate among experts, who have warned repeatedly of country’s vulnerability to such attacks; alarms have generally gone unheeded….

A DAY OF TERROR: SCHEDULES; Disruptions and Closings Are Expected to Continue: Lower Manhattan is expected to remain cut off from rest of city on Sept 12, and schools and stock exchanges will be closed; subways, streets and bridges leading to Lower Manhattan are also expected to remain closed; other disruptions related to destruction of World Trade Center noted…..

A DAY OF TERROR: DISASTER PLANNING; Attacks Halt Meeting: Terrorst assaults in New York and Washington, DC, halt annual meeting, Big Sky, Mont, of officials of Federal Emergency Management Agency where one of topics was how to prepare for terrorist attacks….

FROM THE WHITE HOUSE ARCHIVES

Full Text September 11, 2011: President Barack Obama’s Remarks from the 9/11 10th Anniversary Memorial in NYC — Reading from Psalm 46

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

 

Remarks by the President at the September 11th 10th Anniversary Commemoration

REMARKS BY PRESIDENT OBAMA AT THE NEW YORK CITY SEPTEMBER 11TH 10TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION CEREMONY

National September 11th Memorial
New York City, New York

8:47 A.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore, we will not fear,
even though the earth be removed,
and though the mountains be carried
into the midst of the sea.
Though its waters roar and be troubled,
though the mountains shake
with its swelling,
there’s a river
whose streams shall make glad
the City of God,
the holy place of the Tabernacle
of the Most High.
God is in the midst of her.
She shall not be moved.
God shall help her
just at the break of dawn.
The nations raged,
the kingdoms were moved.
He uttered his voice.
The earth melted.
The Lord of Hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.
Come behold the works of the Lord
who has made desolations in the Earth.
He makes wars cease
to the ends of the Earth.
He breaks the bough
and cuts the spear in two.
He burns the chariot in fire.
Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations.
I will be exalted in the Earths.
The Lord of Hosts is with us.
The God of Jacob is our refuge.

END
8:49 A.M. EDT

On This Day in History, September 11, 2001… President George W. Bush’s Address to the Nation after Terror Attacks (Full Text)

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY:

Day in History

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

With retired firefighter Bob Beckwith standing next to him, President George W. Bush uses a bullhorn to address rescue workers Sept. 14, 2001, at Ground Zero, the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. White House photo by Eric Draper

With retired firefighter Bob Beckwith standing next to him, President George W. Bush uses a bullhorn to address rescue workers Sept. 14, 2001, at Ground Zero, the site of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. White House photo by Eric Draper

President George W. Bush’s Address to the Nation after Terror Attacks September 11, 2011

The following is the official White House transcript of the speech given by President George W. Bush after the attacks of Sept. 11.

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.

Full Text September 10, 2011: President George W. Bush’s Speech at the Unveiling of the Flight 93 National Memorial, Shanksville, Pennsylvania

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

President George W. Bush’s Flight 93 Memorial Dedication Speech

GEORGE W. BUSH, 43RD PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Mr. Secretary, thank you very much. Mr. Vice President, Dr. Biden, President Clinton, Mr. Speaker, members of Congress, my friends Tommy Franks and Tom Ridge, thank you for helping raise the money for this memorial. Members of the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, all of those who supported this memorial, but most importantly, the families of Flight 93. Laura and I are honored to join you in dedicating this memorial to the heroes of Flight 93.

When the sun rose in the Pennsylvania sky ten years ago tomorrow, it was a peaceful September morning. By the time it set nearly 3,000 people were gone. The most lives lost on American soil in a single day since the battle of Antietam.

With the distance of a decade, 9/11 can feel like a part of a different era. But for the families of the men and women stolen, some of whom join us today, that day will never feel like history. The memory of that morning is fresh and so is the pain. America shares your grief. We pray for your comfort and we honor your loved ones.

September 11th, 2001, innocent men and women went to work at the World Trade Center. They reported for duty at the Pentagon. They boarded American Flights 11 and 77, United 93 and 175. They did nothing to provoke or deserve the deliberate act of murder that al Qaeda carried out.

One of the lessons of 9/11 is that evil is real, and so is courage. When the planes struck the World Trade Center, firefighters and police officers charged up the stairs into the flames. As the towers neared collapse, they continued the rescue efforts.

Ultimately, more than 400 police officers and firefighters gave their lives. Among them was the chief of the New York City Fire Department Peter Gancy. As a colleague put it, he would never ask anyone to do something he didn’t do himself.

The Pentagon service members and civilians pulled friends and strangers from burning rubble. One special forces soldier recalls reaching through a cloud of smoke in search of the wounded. As he entered one room, he prayed to find someone alive. He discovered a severely burned woman and carried her to safety. Later, in the hospital, where she explained she’s been praying for rescue. She called him her guardian angel.

And then there’s the extraordinary story we commemorate here. Aboard United Airlines Flight 93 were college students from California, an iron worker from New Jersey, veterans of the Korean War and World War II, citizens of Germany and Japan, a pilot who had rearranged his schedule so that he could take his wife on a vacation to celebrate their anniversary.

When the passengers and crew realized the plane had been hijacked, they reported the news calmly. When they learned that the terrorists had crashed other planes into targets on the ground, they accepted greater responsibilities. In the back of the cabin, the passengers gathered to devise a strategy.

At the moment America’s democracy was under attack, our citizens defied their captors by holding a vote. The choice they made would cost them their lives, and they knew it. Many passengers called their loved ones to say good-bye, then

Many passengers called their loved ones to say goodbye then hung up to perform their final act. One said, “They’re getting ready to break into the cockpit. I have to go. I love you.” Another said, “It’s up to us. I think we can do it.”

In one of the most stirring accounts, Todd Beamer, a father of two with a pregnant wife with a home in New Jersey, asked the air operator to join him in reciting the Lord’s Prayer. Then he helped lead the charge with the words “Let’s roll.”

With their selfless act, the men and women who stormed the cockpit lived out the words, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” And with their brave decision, they launched the first counter offensive of the war on terror. The most likely target of the hijacked plane was the United States Capitol. We’ll never know how many innocent people might have been lost, but we do know this, Americans are alive today because the passengers and crew of Flight 93 chose to act, and our nation will be forever grateful.

The 40 souls who perished on the plane left a great deal behind. They left spouses and children and grandchildren who miss them dearly. They left successful businesses and promising careers and a lifetime of dreams they will never have the chance to fulfill. They left something else — a legacy of bravery and selflessness that will always inspire America.

For generations people will study the flight, the story of Flight 93. They will learn that individual choices make a difference, that love and sacrifice can triumph over evil and hate, and that what happened above this Pennsylvania field ranks among the most courageous acts in American history.

At the memorial we dedicate today will ensure our nation always remembers those lost here on 9/11. But we have a duty beyond memory. We have a duty beyond honoring. We have a duty to live our lives in a way that upholds the ideals for which the men and women gave their lives, to build a living memorial to their courage and sacrifice. We have a duty to find common purpose as a nation.

In the days after 9/11, the response came like a single hand over a single heart. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle gathered on the steps of the capitol to sing “God bless America.” neighbors reached out to neighbors of all backgrounds and beliefs.

The past decade, our country has been tested by natural disaster, economic turmoil, anxieties and challenges here at home and abroad. There have been spirited debates along the way. It’s the essence of democracy. But Americans have never been defined by our disagreements. Whatever challenges we face today and in the future, we must never lose faith in our ability to meet them together. We must never allow our differences to harden into divisions.

Secondly, we have a duty to remain engaged in the world as 9/11 proved that the conditions in the country on the other side of the world can have an impact on our own streets. It may be tempting to think it doesn’t matter what happens to a villager in Afghanistan or a child in Africa, but the temptation of isolation is deadly wrong.

World repression, anger and resentment will be a never ending source of violence and threats. A world of dignity and liberty and hope will be safer and better for all. The surest way to move toward that vision is for the United States of America to lead the cause of freedom.

Finally, we each have a duty to serve a cause larger than ourselves. The passengers aboard Flight 93 set an example that inspires us all. Many have followed their path of service by donating blood or mentoring a child or volunteering in desperate corners of the earth. Some have devoted their careers to analyzing intelligence or protecting our borders and securing our skies. Others have made the noble choice to defend our nation in battle.

For 10 years, our troops have risked and given their lives to prevent our enemies from attacking America again. They’ve kept us safe, they have made us proud, and they have upheld the spirit of service shown by the passengers on Flight 93.

Many years ago, in 1863, another president came to dedicate a memorial site in this state. He told his audience that, “In a larger sense we cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this ground. For the brave souls who struggled there, it consecrated it far above our poor power to add or detract.”

He added “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”

So it is with Flight 93. For as long as this memorial stands, we will remember what the men and women aboard the plane did here. We’ll pay tribute to the courage they showed, the sacrifice they made, and the lives they spared. The United States will never forget.

May God bless you all.

Full Text September 10, 2011: Vice President Joe Biden, President George W. Bush & President Bill Clinton at the Unveiling of the Flight 93 National Memorial, Shanksville, Pennsylvania

POLITICAL SPEECHES & DOCUMENTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

The 10th Anniversary of 9/11

“A Debt We Can Never Repay”

Source: WH, 9-10-11
Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden at the newly unveiled Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden walk past the newly unveiled Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, September 10, 2011. Also pictured are President George W. Bush and Laura Bush, President Bill Clinton, Secretary Ken Salazar, and Jon Jarvis, Director of the National Park Service. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Nearly a decade after September 11, 2001, Vice President Biden, with Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Laura Bush and Dr. Jill Biden were in Shanksville, Pennsylvania today to participate in a dedication ceremony for the first phase of the Flight 93 National Memorial – a marble “Wall of Names” that enshrines the names of the 40 heroic men and women who, as Vice President Biden said, “gave their lives so others could live theirs” by preventing an attack on our nation’s capitol.

Before an audience that included families and loved ones of those lost, as well as thousands of others there to pay tribute to a remarkable group of Americans, Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky read aloud the names of the 40 passengers and crew as 40 bell chimes rang out in accompaniment.

The flag that flew above the United States Capitol on September 11, 2001 was ceremonially raised above the memorial, along with the flags of New Zealand, Japan, Germany and Puerto Rico – representing all of the birthplaces of the passengers and crew of Flight 93.

Vice President Joe Biden and President George W. Bush in Shanksville, Pennsylvania

Vice President Joe Biden and President George W. Bush shake hands with families of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 after the unveiling of the Flight 93 National Memorial, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, September 10, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

Speaking directly to their families and loved ones, Vice President Biden noted that while “no memorial – no words, no acts – can fill the void that they left in your hearts,” his prayer is “that 10 years later, their memory is able to bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.”

“I hope you take comfort in knowing that a grateful nation understands that your loved ones gave their lives in pursuit of the noblest of earthly goals: defending their country, defending their families, sacrificing their lives so we can live ours,” he continued.

More from Vice President Biden’s remarks:

“Even as we struggle with this tragedy, even as we grapple with the profound loss and devastating grief, we can look up at the heavens and think of these heroes and know, know with certitude that there is not a single, solitary tragedy that America cannot overcome.  There is not a single moment of hardship that cannot be transformed into one of national strength.  The seeds of doubt, planted by those who wish to harm us, will instead grow into flowering meadows like this one where we stand in today, for they cannot defeat the American spirit.  We know this with certainty.  We know it with certainty, because it’s the history of the journey of this country at every stage of our history.”…

“As President Clinton knows, my mother used to say, ‘Courage lies in every heart.’  And she would go on to say, ‘And the expectation is that, Joey, one day it will be summoned.’  ‘Courage lies in every heart, and one day it will be summoned.’  On September 11, 2001, at 9:57 a.m., it was summoned and 40 incredible men and women answered the call.  They gave their lives and, in doing so, gave this country a new life.”

“We owe them.  We owe you a debt we can never repay.”

In addition to remarks from Presidents Bush and Clinton, Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, Director of the National Parks Jon Jarvis, President of the Families of Flight 93 Gordon Felt, Chairman of the Flight 93 Memorial Chris Sullivan and Chairman of the Flight 93 Advisory Committee John Reynolds, the ceremony also included a remembrance from Reverend Daniel Coughlin – the Chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives on the day of the attacks – as well as performances by Sarah McLachlan.

Following the dedication ceremony, the Vice President and Dr. Biden dropped by the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Station where they visited with firefighters and their families at a barbeque. Outside the station is the cross made of beams from the World Trade Center that the Vice President referenced in his remarks.

VP Biden at Shanksville Fire Department Vice President Joe Biden stops by the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department to thank the firefighers, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, September 10, 2011. (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

POLITICAL QUOTES & SPEECHES

REMARKS BY VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN AT DEDICATION OF FLIGHT 93 MEMORIAL

Shanksville, Pennsylvania

 

2:25 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Ladies and gentlemen, my fellow Americans, I’m honored to be standing here today, standing with two former Presidents.

President Clinton, as he said, the passengers on Flight 93 knew that our common humanity is what united us most.  Well, Mr. President, the same can be said of you.  You spent your time as President, and the years since, deeply committed to embracing and strengthening our common humanity.  (Applause.)  And, Mr. President, we all thank you for what you’ve done and what you continue to do.

Let me also recognize a man responsible for bringing our country together at a time when it could have been torn apart, for making it clear that America could not be brought to her knees, and helping us stand tall and strike back — President George W. Bush.  (Applause.)  In the darkest hour of our generation, your voice and leadership, Mr. President, helped us find our way.  And for that, you deserve our gratitude for a long, long time.  (Applause.)

And I say now to the families that are gathered here today, I know what it’s like to receive that call out of the blue, like a bolt out of the blue.  And I know this is a bittersweet moment for you.  And I want to tell you, you have a lot more courage than I had.  You have a lot more courage just by being here today, because I know, and many others know, how hard it is to relive these moments, because it brings everything back in stark, stark relief and stark detail.

But I also know, like your loved ones, what you probably don’t know, that you are literally an inspiration to the thousands of people across this country who right now are feeling the loss of an intense tragedy that they’re suffering.  They know, looking at you, watching you on television today, that there’s hope to be found after tragedy, that there’s rebirth in the face of death.  You, in a sense, are as courageous as your family members were.  And we owe you all for being here today, just the act of being here.  (Applause.)

We’re here today to remember and honor 40 men and women who gave their lives so others could live theirs — decent, honorable women and men who never imagined 10 years ago tomorrow that when they said goodbye to their children, when they kissed their loved ones goodbye and walked through that door, that they were doing it for the very last time.

They didn’t know the horror that awaited them, but they confronted unimaginable fear and terror with a courage that has been summoned only by the truest and the rarest of American heroes — 40 names etched on each of those panels on the wall, the Wall of Names.  But, more than that, their names are going to be, as President Bush said, etched forever into American history.  They join an incredibly elite list of women and men, and a long history filled with ordinary Americans doing extraordinary things — men and women of undaunted courage, uncommon resolve, and a stubborn perseverance in the face of unfathomable challenge.

We teach our children that these are qualities ingrained into our national character as Americans.  And I believe they are.  They animate our national identity.  And I believe they will continue to define America, because of the example of the men and women who we pay tribute today, the passengers and the crew of Flight 93.

None of them asked for what happened.  They didn’t go on that plane — they didn’t board that plane to fight a war.  But when they heard the news, when they found out what happened in New York, they knew that they were going through, it was something more than a hijacking.  They knew it was the opening shot in a new war.

And so, they acted.  They acted as citizen patriots have acted since the beginning of our country.  They stood up and they stood their ground.  They thought, like Captain Parker said at Lexington, and I quote him, “If they mean to have a war, let it begin here.”

As many times as I recall, and all of you who are not family members like me, have recalled this incident time and again over the last 10 years, I never fail to be astonished, literally astonished by the courage they demonstrated.

And so, we stand where it began.  We think of them.  We think of our nation.  We think of our history and we think of the future.  And we think of it, because of them, with a confidence knowing that ordinary citizens will continue to stare down fear, overwhelm evil, and bring forth hope from what seems to be none.  And although it will continue to amaze us and inspire us when it happens, it should not surprise us.  For that heroism is who we are.  And that courage lies deepest and beats loudest in the heart of this nation.

We know that these 40 men and women were more than ordinary Americans to all of you sitting in front of me.  They were more than passengers and crews.  They were already heroes.  They were already heroes to you.

They were the father that tucked you in bed at night.  They were the wife who knew your fears before you even expressed them.  They were the brother who lifted you up.  They were the daughter who made you laugh.  They were the son who made you proud.  They are irreplaceable.  I know that.  We know that.

And we know, and I know, that no memorial — no words, no acts — can fill the void that they left in your hearts.  My prayer for you is that 10 years later, their memory is able to bring a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye.  And I hope you take comfort in knowing that a grateful nation understands that your loved ones gave their lives in pursuit of the noblest of earthly goals:  defending their country, defending their families, sacrificing their lives so we could live ours.  Those of us who were in Washington that day, without knowing it for sure at the time, now know we owe them an overwhelming special, personal debt of gratitude.

The collective spirit of your mother, your father, your brother, your husband, your wife, your sister, your best friend — that spirit lives on not only in you, but in your country.  It lives on in the Cross of Steel made from the World Trade Center beams, placed on a Pentagon-shaped platform that rests proudly outside the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department.  (Applause.)  That Cross of Steel is an enduring symbol of the steel and the spine of this region, and the spine of this country.

And it definitely lives on in a new generation of warriors — the 9/11 Generation, inspired by what happened here, 2.8 million young Americans since 9/11, that 9/11 generation, have joined the United States Armed Forces — thousands giving their lives and tens of thousands being wounded to finish the war that began right here.

Maya Angelou wrote, and I quote, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived.  However, if faced with courage, need not be lived again.”

Ladies and gentlemen — we are not here to unlive history.  We are here to honor those whose courage made history and is going to inspire generations of Americans to come.

So, I say to you, even as we struggle with this tragedy, even as we grapple with the profound loss and devastating grief, we can look up at the heavens and think of these heroes and know, know with certitude that there is not a single, solitary tragedy that America cannot overcome.  There is not a single moment of hardship that cannot be transformed into one of national strength.  The seeds of doubt, planted by those who wish to harm us, will instead grow into flowering meadows like this one where we stand in today, for they cannot defeat the American spirit.  We know this with certainty.  We know it with certainty, because it’s the history of the journey of this country at every stage of our history.  (Applause.)

As President Clinton knows, my mother used to say, “Courage lies in every heart.”  And she would go on to say, “And the expectation is that, Joey, one day it will be summoned.”  “Courage lies in every heart, and one day it will be summoned.”  On September 11, 2001, at 9:57 a.m., it was summoned and 40 incredible men and women answered the call.  They gave their lives and, in doing so, gave this country a new life.

We owe them.  We owe you a debt we can never repay.  Thank you all.  Thank you, family members.  And may God bless you.  And may God protect our troops.  (Applause.)

May 5, 2011: Obama Visits 9-11 Memorial at Ground Zero

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:

President Obama places a wreath at the site of the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero President Obama places a wreath at the site of the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero, White House Photo, Pete Souza, 5/5/11

STATS & POLLS

  • For Obama, Big Rise in Poll Numbers After Bin Laden Raid: Support for President Obama rose sharply after the killing of Osama bin Laden, with a majority now approving of his overall job performance, as well as his handling of foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
    The glow of national pride seemed to rise above partisan politics, as support for the president rose significantly among both Republicans and independents. In all, 57 percent said they now approved of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month.
    But euphoria was tempered by a sense of foreboding: more than six in 10 Americans said that killing Bin Laden was likely to increase the threat of terrorism against the United States in the short term. A large majority also said that the Qaeda leader’s death did not make them feel any safer. Just 16 percent said they personally felt more safe now…. – NYT, 5-5-11

THE HEADLINES….

  • Obama giving NY its moment of justice on bin Laden: From the heart of the shocking terror strike on America, President Barack Obama will try to bury the memory of Osama bin Laden by honoring those who died in the fiery Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. In private talks with families and a somber ceremony at ground zero, Obama is out to let New York have its own moment of justice. Obama heads to New York City on Thursday after sharply rejecting calls for him to release photos of a slain bin Laden so the world could see some proof of death. The president said he would not risk giving propaganda to extremists or gloat by publicizing grotesque photos of a terrorist leader shot in the head. To those who keep on doubting, Obama said, “You will not see bin Laden walking on this earth again.”… – AP, 5-5-11
  • Obama in NY: We never forget, we mean what we say: Solemnly honoring victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, President Barack Obama hugged survivors, thanked the heroes of one of the nation’s darkest days and declared Thursday that the killing of Osama bin Laden after all these years was an American message to the world: “When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say.” On a brilliant blue-sky day, one of reflection more than celebration, Obama offered New Yorkers a moment of their own. Standing at the gritty construction site of ground zero, where the towers fell and a memorial now rises, the president laid a wreath of red, white and blue flowers for the nearly 3,000 who died as he marked a turning point for the nation and this city of steely resilience. For Obama, the day was about the importance of being in New York in the aftermath of the successful raid to find and kill bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader. Obama addressed families who have watched and wondered for nearly a decade whether the government would track down its most infamous enemy…. – AP, 5-5-11
  • In NYC, Obama says Osama mission ‘sent a message’: Visiting New York just days after the mastermind of the 2001 attack on the city was killed U.S. special forces, President Obama on Thursday told police and firefighters the terrorist’s death is proof that American justice has a long reach. In surprise visits to the “Pride of Midtown” firehouse, which lost 15 men in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks nearly a decade ago, and then later at the 1st Precinct police station in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Obama said the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden Sunday in Pakistan did it “in the name of your brothers that were lost.”
    “What happened on Sunday, because of the courage of our military and the outstanding work of our intelligence, sent a message around the world, but also sent a message here back home that when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say,” the president told the firefighters. He also visited with family members of victims of the attack and laid a wreath at the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. Along the roads his motorcade was greeted by cheering crowds… – Washington Times, 5-5-11
  • After bin Laden death, Obama visits Ground Zero: Days after the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama met New York firefighters and police on Thursday and visited Ground Zero to offer comfort to a city still scarred by the September 11 attacks. His predecessor, George W. Bush, just three days after hijacked planes destroyed the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, had stood bullhorn in hand in the smoldering wreckage to declare, “The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” Almost a decade later, in a bookend to that historic visit, Obama came to New York to say that promise had been kept. He said the killing of bin Laden told the world “that when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say.”
    Obama visited Engine 54 in midtown, which with 15 deaths lost more members on 9/11 than any other firehouse, before heading to Lower Manhattan to talk with police and lay a wreath at Ground Zero, the Twin Towers site, where he also met with victims’ families. Obama told firefighters at the “Pride of Manhattan” firehouse, “I wanted to just come here to thank you.” “This is a symbolic site of the extraordinary sacrifice that was made on that terrible day almost 10 years ago,” he said. “It didn’t matter who was in charge, we were going to make sure that the perpetrators of that horrible act — ‘ that they received justice…. – Reuters, 5-5-11

QUOTES

  • The President in NYC: “When We Say We Will Never Forget, We Mean What We Say”:
    To the firefighters: This is a symbolic site of the extraordinary sacrifice that was made on that terrible day almost 10 years ago. Obviously we can’t bring back your friends that were lost, and I know that each and every one of you not only grieve for them, but have also over the last 10 years dealt with their family, their children, trying to give them comfort, trying to give them support.
    What happened on Sunday, because of the courage of our military and the outstanding work of our intelligence, sent a message around the world, but also sent a message here back home that when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say; that our commitment to making sure that justice is done is something that transcended politics, transcended party; it didn’t matter which administration was in, it didn’t matter who was in charge, we were going to make sure that the perpetrators of that horrible act — that they received justice.
    So it’s some comfort, I hope, to all of you to know that when those guys took those extraordinary risks going into Pakistan, that they were doing it in part because of the sacrifices that were made in the States. They were doing it in the name of your brothers that were lost.To the police: And so since that time I know a lot of you have probably comforted loved ones of those who were lost. A lot of you have probably looked after kids who grew up without a parent. And a lot of you continue to do extraordinary — extraordinarily courageous acts without a lot of fanfare. What we did on Sunday was directly connected to what you do every single day. And I know I speak for the military teams, the intelligence teams that helped get bin Laden in saying that we know the sacrifices and courage that you show as well, and that you are part of the team that helped us achieve our goal, but also help us keep our citizens safe each and every day.
    So I couldn’t be prouder of all of you. I couldn’t be more grateful to you. And I hope that you know that the country will continue to stand behind you going forward, because there are still going to be threats out there and you’re still going to be called on to take courageous actions and to remain vigilant, and you’re going to have an entire country behind you when you do it. – WH, 5-5-11

May 2, 2011: Obama Announces Osama bin Laden Caught, Killed, and Buried — World Reacts

POLITICAL HIGHLIGHTS

By Bonnie K. Goodman

Ms. Goodman is the Editor of History Musings. She has a BA in History & Art History & a Masters in Library and Information Studies from McGill University, and has done graduate work in history at Concordia University.

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & THE 112TH CONGRESS:


White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy, 5/1/11

Political Highlights

STATS & POLLS

  • For Obama, Big Rise in Poll Numbers After Bin Laden Raid: Support for President Obama rose sharply after the killing of Osama bin Laden, with a majority now approving of his overall job performance, as well as his handling of foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
    The glow of national pride seemed to rise above partisan politics, as support for the president rose significantly among both Republicans and independents. In all, 57 percent said they now approved of the president’s job performance, up from 46 percent last month.
    But euphoria was tempered by a sense of foreboding: more than six in 10 Americans said that killing Bin Laden was likely to increase the threat of terrorism against the United States in the short term. A large majority also said that the Qaeda leader’s death did not make them feel any safer. Just 16 percent said they personally felt more safe now…. – NYT, 5-5-11
  • The Partisan Divide Over Who Gets Credit for Osama bin Laden’s Death: Who deserves the most credit for Osama bin Laden’s death? It depends whom you ask, and different partisan groups are answering the question differently. Predictably, Democrats give more credit to President Obama, while Republicans prefer to credit his predecessor, former President George W. Bush…. – The Atlantic, 5-4-11
  • Overnight Polls Find Muted Improvement in Obama’s Approval Rating: In the parlor game to predict the magnitude of improvement in President Obama’s approval rating after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the weight of the evidence is with the skeptics so far. The poll receiving the most attention is a Pew Research/Washington Post survey. It shows a 9-point improvement in Mr. Obama’s approval rating — to 55 percent from 46 percent — based on polling conducted yesterday.
    Other polls show more marginal gains for Mr. Obama, however. A CNN/Opinion Research survey shows Mr. Obama’s approval at 52 percent — up from just 1 point from polling conducted earlier in the weekend, and 4 points from a poll conducted in late April. A Daily Beast/Newsweek poll, conducted by Douglas E. Schoen, LLC, showed no improvement in his numbers, with his approval rating at 48 percent both before and after news of the killing. An automated poll by SurveyUSA has Mr. Obama’s approval rating at 46 percent, and one by InsiderAdvantage has it at 48 percent, although they provide no recent baseline for comparison.
    On average across the five surveys conducted entirely since Bin Laden’s death, Mr. Obama’s approval rating is 50 percent, and his disapproval rating is 46 percent. By comparison, Mr. Obama’s numbers had been roughly the reverse of that — 45 percent approving, and 50 percent disapproving — based on polls conducted before Sunday night, according to the Pollster.com trendline…. – NYT, 5-3-11

IN FOCUS

  • Obama: Al-Qaida head bin Laden dead: Osama bin Laden, the glowering mastermind behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed thousands of Americans, was slain in his luxury hideout in Pakistan early Monday in a firefight with U.S. forces, ending a manhunt that spanned a frustrating decade.
    “Justice has been done,” President Barack Obama said in a dramatic announcement at the White House. A jubilant crowd of thousands gathered outside the White House as word spread of bin Laden’s death. Hundreds more sang and waved American flags at Ground Zero in New York — where the twin towers that once stood as symbols of American economic power were brought down by bin Laden’s hijackers 10 years ago…. – AP, 5-1-11

THE HEADLINES….

  • Bin Laden Is Dead, Obama Says: Osama bin Laden, the mastermind of the most devastating attack on American soil in modern times and the most hunted man in the world, was killed in a firefight with United States forces in Pakistan on Sunday, President Obama announced.
    In a dramatic late-night appearance in the East Room of the White House, Mr. Obama declared that “justice has been done” as he disclosed that American military and C.I.A. operatives had finally cornered Bin Laden, the Al Qaeda leader who had eluded them for nearly a decade. American officials said Bin Laden resisted and was shot in the head. He was later buried at sea.
    The news touched off an extraordinary outpouring of emotion as crowds gathered outside the White House, in Times Square and at the Ground Zero site, waving American flags, cheering, shouting, laughing and chanting, “U.S.A., U.S.A.!” In New York City, crowds sang “The Star-Spangled Banner.” Throughout downtown Washington, drivers honked horns deep into the night.
    “For over two decades, Bin Laden has been Al Qaeda’s leader and symbol,” the president said in a statement televised around the world. “The death of Bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda. But his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.”… – NYT, 5-1-11
  • Official: Bin Laden buried at sea: A U.S. official says Osama bin Laden has been buried at sea. After bin Laden was killed in a raid by U.S. forces in Pakistan, senior administration officials said the body would be handled according to Islamic practice and tradition. That practice calls for the body to be buried within 24 hours, the official said. Finding a country willing to accept the remains of the world’s most wanted terrorist would have been difficult, the official said. So the U.S. decided to bury him at sea…. – AP, 5-1-11
  • Joyous Americans gather to mark bin Laden death: Joyous at the release of a decade’s frustration, Americans streamed to the site of the World Trade Center, the gates of the White House and smaller but no less jubilant gatherings across the nation to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden — cheering, waving flags and belting the national anthem. Ground zero, more familiar these past 10 years for bagpipes playing “Amazing Grace” and solemn speeches and arguments over what to build to honor the Sept. 11 dead, became, for the first time, a place of revelry…. – AP, 5-1-11
  • How U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden: The mission that killed one of the world’s most notorious terrorist leaders was carried out by U.S. forces with the cooperation of Pakistan, U.S. President Barack Obama said Sunday night.
    Osama bin Laden – the longtime leader of al Qaeda – was killed by U.S. forces in a mansion about 100 kilometers, or 62 miles, north of the Pakistani capital of Islamabad along with other family members, a senior U.S. official told CNN.
    Members of Pakistan’s intelligence service, the ISI, were on site in Abbottabad during the operation, a senior Pakistani intelligence official said.
    Bin Laden resisted the assault and was killed in a firefight, senior administration officials said…. – CNN, 5-2-11
  • US: Islamic procedure followed in bin Laden burial: The Pentagon says Osama bin Laden’s body was placed into the waters of the North Arabian Sea after adhering to traditional Islamic procedures — including washing the corpse — aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson…. The intelligence official also said that DNA analysis on Monday provided certainty that the body was that of bin Laden…. – AP, 5-2-11
  • President’s Vow Fulfilled: President Obama’s announcement late Sunday that Osama bin Laden had been killed delivered not only a long-awaited prize to the United States, but also a significant victory for Mr. Obama, whose foreign policy has been the subject of persistent criticism by his rivals.
    In his 2008 presidential campaign, Mr. Obama bluntly declared, “We will kill Bin Laden.” But as time passed, Bin Laden’s name had gradually fallen out of presidential speeches and the political discourse, raising concern from critics that Mr. Obama’s administration was not sufficiently focused on the fight against terrorism.
    In delivering the news from the East Room of the White House, as jubilant crowds gathered outside waving American flags and cheering, Mr. Obama did not address his critics or gloat about his trophy. He instead used the moment to remember the victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and to issue a new call for national unity.
    “Let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11,” Mr. Obama said. “I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.”
    Bin Laden’s death is certainly one of the most significant and defining moments of Mr. Obama’s presidency. It allows him to claim the biggest national security victory in a decade — something that eluded President George W. Bush for nearly eight years — and instantly burnishes his foreign policy credentials at a time when he has been questioned about his decisions on the Middle East. The gravity of the moment was impossible to minimize. At ground zero, in baseball stadiums and on college campuses across the country, elation erupted as though a war had been won.
    Mr. Obama called Mr. Bush on Sunday evening to tell him that Bin Laden had been killed. Shortly after Mr. Obama’s announcement at the White House, Mr. Bush issued a statement congratulating his successor, saying, “No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”… – NYT, 5-1-11
  • Obituary | Osama bin Laden, 1957-2011 The Most Wanted Face of Terrorism: Osama bin Laden, who was killed in Pakistan on Sunday, was a son of the Saudi elite whose radical, violent campaign to recreate a seventh-century Muslim empire redefined the threat of terrorism for the 21st century.
    As the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, here in video recorded in 2001, waged a terror war against the United States.
    With the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, Bin Laden was elevated to the realm of evil in the American imagination once reserved for dictators like Hitler and Stalin. He was a new national enemy, his face on wanted posters, gloating on videotapes, taunting the United States and Western civilization.
    “Do you want Bin Laden dead?” a reporter asked President George W. Bush six days after the Sept. 11 attacks.
    “I want him — I want justice,” the president answered. “And there’s an old poster out West, as I recall, that said, Wanted: Dead or Alive.'”
    It took nearly a decade before that quest finally ended in Pakistan with the death of Bin Laden during a confrontation with American forces, who attacked a compound where officials said he had been hiding…. – NYT, 5-1-11
  • Osama bin Laden killed: How the world is reacting: Western leaders and Arab citizens alike said that Osama bin Laden’s death is an important symbolic victory, but does not signal an end to the threat of terrorism in the West…. – CS Monitor, 5-2-11
  • Amid Cheers, a Message: ‘They Will Be Caught’: In the midnight darkness, the crowds gathered, chanting and cheering, waving American flags, outside the front gates of the White House. In Times Square, tourists poured out of nearby hotels and into the streets early Monday morning to celebrate with strangers. And in the shadow of the World Trade Center site, as the news of Osama bin Laden’s killing by American special forces spread, a police car drove north on Church Street blaring the sound of bagpipes from open windows. Officers raised clenched fists in the air.
    President Obama’s stunning announcement Sunday night about the death of the terrorist who had eluded capture for almost 10 years produced an outpouring of emotion around the world, from political figures and citizens alike.
    “This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001,” said former President George W. Bush in a statement. “The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done.”
    Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, whose city bore the brunt of the 9/11 attack, issued a statement saying: “The killing of Osama bin Laden does not lessen the suffering that New Yorkers and Americans experienced at his hands, but it is a critically important victory for our nation — and a tribute to the millions of men and women in our armed forces and elsewhere who have fought so hard for our nation. “New Yorkers have waited nearly 10 years for this news. It is my hope that it will bring some closure and comfort to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.”
    Former President Bill Clinton said in a statement that this was a “profoundly important moment.” Governor Andrew M. Cuomo of New York called the killing of Bin Laden “a major step in our country’s efforts to defeat terrorism.”
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said it was “a resounding triumph for justice.”… – NYT, 5-1-11
  • >Clinton: Bin Laden’s death doesn’t end war on terror: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday that the U.S. message to al-Qaeda remains the same today, but it “might have even greater resonance” in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death. “You cannot defeat us,” Clinton said at the State Department. She urged al-Qaeda members to renounce the terror organization and back U.S. efforts to stop violence against innocents.
    Clinton said bin Laden’s death was a milestone in the war on terrorism, but stressed that the “battle to stop al-Qaeda and its syndicate of terror” is not over. She said the operation to find and kill bin Laden nearly a decade after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks showed the U.S. would never abandon its pursuit of justice. And, she said the U.S. would continue to boost its counterterrorism cooperation with other nations, including Pakistan…. – USA Today, 5-2-11
  • Osama bin Laden killed near Pakistan’s West Point. Was he really hidden?: The world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, was not hiding in a cave along the lawless border with Afghanistan, as many believed. Instead, US forces killed him 75 miles north of Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad…. – CS Monitor, 5-2-11
  • Bin Laden: How They Got Him — And What Happens to al Qaeda Now: The reports started coming in more than a month ago: Osama bin Laden was on the move, and the U.S. had its eye on him. Stressed by the turmoil sweeping his part of the world – tumult he had no roll in sparking – bin Laden was trying to bolster al Qaeda’s credibility as young people Tweeted and Facebooked about a future that didn’t involve him, or al Qaeda. Surprisingly, he didn’t die a standoff death from an unseen Predator drone, as most would have expected. Instead, a team of U.S. special-operations forces helicoptered into a high-walled compound deep inside Pakistan and killed him and four others in a firefight, including a son of bin Laden and a woman allegedly being used as a human shield.
    Dispatching a joint Navy SEAL-CIA team of four choppers into Pakistan makes two things crystal clear: the U.S. believed its intelligence was solid, and it wanted proof he was dead; they wanted his corpse. One of the choppers involved in the raid malfunction and was destroyed; no U.S. personnel were injured in the operation, which lasted about 40 minutes. The whereabouts and fate of Ayman al-Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy, remain unknown. Whether bin Laden’s death sparks a spasm of violence – or marks the end of al Qaeda as a potent terror force – also remains unclear…. – Time, 5-2-11
  • Obama’s remarkable 72-hour poker face: After giving the order to get Osama bin Laden, President Obama went about his duties without giving anything away
    In a remarkable 72 hours of his presidency, Barack Obama carried a momentous secret and gave no hint of it as he consoled tornado victims, delivered a college commencement address and cracked jokes at a black-tie dinner. What few insiders knew was that Obama had given the go-ahead Friday for the military operation that would end with the death of terrorist leader Osama bin Laden, target of the world’s most intense manhunt.
    After giving his consent, Obama, wife Michelle and daughters Sasha and Malia left the White House on a busy day of travel, with three stops in two states. In Alabama, one of several Southern states battered by fierce tornados, Obama assumed his role as consoler in chief as he and the first lady got an up-close look at communities in Tuscaloosa that had been flattened by the twisters…. – CBS News, 5-2-11
  • Minute-by-minute: The operation to get bin Laden: Hours after receiving the go-ahead from President Barack Obama to perform a “surgical strike” on an expansive compound thought to house Osama bin Laden, helicopters descended out of the darkness into an affluent Pakistani neighborhood a few hours from Islamabad by car. Mr. Obama and his top advisors watched the action unfold in the Situation Room. “The minutes [in the Situation Room] passed like days,” said White House Counter Intelligence chief John Brennan at a press conference Monday. As the information from the operation flowed into the Situation Room on Sunday afternoon, the president exclaimed, “We got him,” based on what he was hearing and seeing. Bin Laden died on the scene, shot fatally in the chest and head. One official heard a commander on scene say, “Geronimo E-KIA.” Geronimo was the code name for Bin Laden; E-KIA is “enemy killed in action.”… – CBS News, 5-2-11
  • First strands on bin Laden gathered in CIA prison: Officials say CIA interrogators in secret overseas prisons developed the first strands of information that ultimately led to the killing of Osama bin Laden.
    Current and former U.S. officials say that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, provided the nom de guerre of one of bin Laden’s most trusted aides. The CIA got similar information from Mohammed’s successor, Abu Faraj al-Libi. Both were subjected to harsh interrogation tactics inside CIA prisons in Poland and Romania.
    The news is sure to reignite debate over whether the now-closed interrogation and detention program was successful. Former president George W. Bush authorized the CIA to use the harshest interrogation tactics in U.S. history. President Barack Obama closed the prison system…. – AP, 5-2-11
  • Bin Laden discovered ‘hiding in plain sight’: Half an hour had passed on the ground, but the American commandos raiding Osama bin Laden’s Pakistani hideaway had yet to find their long-sought target. Two of bin Laden’s protectors were already dead, shot by the Navy SEALs carrying out the raid, and one of the U.S. helicopters sat crippled in the courtyard. Pakistan’s military, which had been kept in the dark about the operation, was scrambling to respond to reports of explosions and gunfire at the one-acre compound. The commandos swept methodically through the compound’s main building, clearing one room and then another as they made their way to the upper floors where they expected to find bin Laden. As they did so, Obama administration officials in the White House Situation Room listened to the SEAL team’s conversations over secure lines.
    “The minutes passed like days,” said John O. Brennan, the administration’s chief counterterrorism adviser. “It was probably one of the most anxiety-filled periods of time, I think, in the lives of the people who were assembled.” Finally, shortly before 2 a.m. in Pakistan, the commandos burst into an upstairs room. Inside, an armed bin Laden took cover behind a woman, Brennan said. With a burst of gunfire, one of the longest and costliest manhunts in modern history was over…. – WaPo, 5-2-11
  • The next front: Claiming credit for Osama bin Laden’s death: The hunt for Osama bin Laden is over, but the quest for credit is just getting started. Just one day after the Navy SEALs’ daring raid, Democrats were already outlining plans to seize the opportunity to portray President Barack Obama as a decisive leader who should get full acclaim for green-lighting the assault that brought down bin Laden. But supporters of his predecessor, George W. Bush, are irked that the White House isn’t doing more to share the glory. The subtle but unmistakable jockeying provided a revealing glimpse into how official Washington thinks: Even in a rare moment of national unity, the political stakes provide a temptation – and even an imperative – for the parties to jostle for maximum advantage…. – Politico, 5-2-11
  • How did U.S. confirm the body was bin Laden’s?: It took mere hours to confirm that the person killed in a compound near Pakistan’s capital was Osama bin Laden. How did officials know that the man who was shot in the head Sunday was really the world’s most wanted terrorist? Officials compared the DNA of the person killed at the Abbottabad compound with the bin Laden “family DNA” to determine that the 9/11 mastermind had in fact been killed, a senior administration official said…. – CNN, 5-2-11
  • Behind the Hunt for Bin Laden: For years, the agonizing search for Osama bin Laden kept coming up empty. Then last July, Pakistanis working for the Central Intelligence Agency drove up behind a white Suzuki navigating the bustling streets near Peshawar, Pakistan, and wrote down the car’s license plate. The man in the car was Bin Laden’s most trusted courier, and over the next month C.I.A. operatives would track him throughout central Pakistan. Ultimately, administration officials said, he led them to a sprawling compound at the end of a long dirt road and surrounded by tall security fences in a wealthy hamlet 35 miles from the Pakistani capital. On a moonless night eight months later, 79 American commandos in four helicopters descended on the compound, the officials said. Shots rang out. A helicopter stalled and would not take off. Pakistani authorities, kept in the dark by their allies in Washington, scrambled forces as the American commandos rushed to finish their mission and leave before a confrontation. Of the five dead, one was a tall, bearded man with a bloodied face and a bullet in his head. A member of the Navy Seals snapped his picture with a camera and uploaded it to analysts who fed it into a facial recognition program. And just like that, history’s most expansive, expensive and exasperating manhunt was over. The inert frame of Osama bin Laden, America’s enemy No. 1, was placed in a helicopter for burial at sea, never to be seen or feared again. A nation that spent a decade tormented by its failure to catch the man responsible for nearly 3,000 fiery deaths in New York, outside Washington and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11, 2001, at long last had its sense of finality, at least in this one difficult chapter…. – NYT, 5-3-11
  • Experts Say DNA Match Is Likely a Parent or Child: While federal officials said that analysis of DNA from several relatives helped confirm that it was Osama bin Laden who was killed in the military raid on Sunday, they have not yet disclosed the relationships of the family members whose DNA was used. Officials said they collected multiple DNA samples from Bin Laden’s relatives in the years since the Sept. 11 attacks. And they said the analysis, which was performed the day Bin Laden was killed but after his body was buried at sea, confirmed his identity with 99.9 percent accuracy. Some scientific experts said on Monday that if results really were so accurate, at least one of the sources was likely to have been a close relative, like a child or parent with whom he shared half his genes…. – NYT, 5-3-11
  • Details of raid on bin Laden compound unfold: Osama bin Laden was not armed but did put up resistance when U.S. forces stormed the compound outside Islamabad where he and his family were living, then killed him, White House spokesman Jay Carney said Tuesday. Carney, reading a narrative drawn up by the Defense Department, provided new details of the events that transpired early Monday. Carney said military personnel arrived at the compound in Abbottabad, about 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Islamabad, aboard two helicopters. CIA Director Leon Panetta, who commanded the mission and was in contact with the 25 commandoes as it unfolded, told PBS the U.S. Navy SEALs arrived aboard two Black Hawks that landed outside the compound. “They had to breach through walls,” he said. There were no armed guards around the compound, said a U.S. official who asked not to be identified because the official was not authorized to speak on the record. In an operation that lasted nearly 40 minutes, the SEALs — working in two groups — methodically cleared the compound, where three families were living, Carney said…. – CNN, 5-3-11
  • Bin Laden alive? To debunk latest myth, White House near release of photo: The US had reasons to bury Osama bin Laden at sea. But now conspiracy theories are cropping up that he is not dead, adding to domestic pressure on the US to release a photo of his body…. – CS Monitor, 5-3-11
  • Good Feeling Gone, in Congress, Anyway: Whatever sense of unity the nation might have felt after the killing of Osama bin Laden, it did not extend to the pressing domestic policy issues that divide Congressional Republicans and Democrats, who returned to work in earnest Tuesday. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, complained about the “excessive regulation” of business. Lawmakers were quickly back to arguing over economic and health care policy, trading blame for high gasoline prices and positioning themselves for the fight over raising the federal debt limit. The Senate found itself at multiple impasses over a small-business bill and judicial confirmations. There was even division within Congress over whether to pass a resolution recognizing the military and intelligence operatives who pulled off the strike on Bin Laden. Members of the Senate, standing formally at their desks, voted 97 to 0 to approve a measure commending “the men and women of the United States armed forces and the United States intelligence community for the tremendous commitment, perseverance, professionalism and sacrifice they displayed in bringing Osama bin Laden to justice.”… – NYT, 5-3-11
  • How U.S. forces killed Osama bin Laden: Under the cover of night, U.S. helicopters steered toward a secure compound in Pakistan on a mission to capture or kill the world’s most-notorious terrorist. Less than 40 minutes later — early Monday morning in Pakistan — Osama bin Laden was dead, along with others inside the complex, and U.S. forces departed with the slain al Qaeda leader’s body, fulfilling a vow that originated shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. “It was a staggering undertaking and there was no one else, I believe, other than an American group of military warriors who could do it. And the world is a safer place today, not only for the American people but for all people,” U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Tuesday, in his first remarks on the death of bin Laden. Officials on Tuesday offered new details about that raid, clarifying accounts of events given earlier…. – CNN, 5-4-11
  • AG: Killing of bin Laden marks historic progress: Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress on Tuesday that the killing of Osama bin Laden marks historic progress by the U.S. government in protecting the American people from terrorism. Holder’s comments to the House Judiciary Committee marked the first appearance before Congress by an Obama administration Cabinet official since the mission targeting bin Laden was carried out successfully. The attorney general told the Republican-controlled House Judiciary Committee that the completion of the hunt for bin Laden was the result of an almost decade-long effort that spanned two administrations…. – AP, 5-4-11
  • U.S. officials combing data from bin Laden compound, Holder says: Attorney General Eric Holder predicted Wednesday more names will be added to U.S. terrorist watch lists as law enforcement agencies review the evidence gathered in Pakistan after the raid on Osama bin Laden’s compound on Monday. “The material that was seized from that residence is being reviewed by an inter-agency team: CIA, Justice, other intelligence agencies, other law enforcement agencies are contributing people and machines to go through that material. As we glean information from that material, we will make appropriate decisions with regard to who might we add to the terrorist watch list, the No Fly list, all those things,” Holder told the Senate Judiciary Committee. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, asked, “You expect you probably will add people as a result of what you got?” Holder replied, “My guess is that we probably will.”… – CNN, 5-4-11
  • In NH, Romney praises Obama for bin Laden’s death: Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney says President Barack Obama deserves credit for authorizing the military operation that resulted in Osama bin Laden’s death. Before starting a round-table discussion with New Hampshire business owners Tuesday, Romney thanked Obama, U.S. military forces and the intelligence community for finding and killing the mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks…. – AP, 5-4-11
  • Obama giving NY its moment of justice on bin Laden: From the heart of the shocking terror strike on America, President Barack Obama will try to bury the memory of Osama bin Laden by honoring those who died in the fiery Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. In private talks with families and a somber ceremony at ground zero, Obama is out to let New York have its own moment of justice. Obama heads to New York City on Thursday after sharply rejecting calls for him to release photos of a slain bin Laden so the world could see some proof of death. The president said he would not risk giving propaganda to extremists or gloat by publicizing grotesque photos of a terrorist leader shot in the head. To those who keep on doubting, Obama said, “You will not see bin Laden walking on this earth again.”… – AP, 5-5-11
  • Cables: U.S. near bin Laden in ’08, didn’t know it: U.S. troops were unwittingly within a few hundreds yards of Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound in October 2008, WikiLeaks cables reveal. According to a report in the Guardian, diplomatic cables show the U.S. military was “training the trainers” of Pakistan’s Frontier Corps. Abbottabad is home to the Pakistan Military Academy. The compound where bin Laden was tracked down and killed by Navy SEALs is near the academy. On Tuesday, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said that bin Laden was likely in the highly fortified compound for five or six years, meaning that the U.S. military presence in the city overlapped with his…. – CBS News, 5-4-11
  • Seal Team 6’s secret weapon in Bin Laden hunt: a dog Canine member of elite US Navy Seals team that found al-Qaida leader was probably a German shepherd or Belgian Malinois: There has already been a good deal of slightly fevered speculation about the training and tactics of the 79 elite US Navy Seals who raided Osama bin Laden’s hideout. Now this has extended to the less-heralded final member of their team: a military dog. According to a series of reports, the so far unidentified canine was lowered into the compound from a helicopter while strapped to a human member of the team. It was most likely needed to check for hidden explosives, or perhaps to seek Bin Laden if the house contained a secret hiding place. While the dog’s presence emerged immediately after the assault, some new details have emerged. The courageous canine was most likely a German shepherd or the similar-looking Belgian Malinois, the New York Times said, quoting unnamed military sources…. – Guardian UK, 5-5-11
  • Bin Laden fallout: How Abbottabad tweets reveal changes in modern warfare: Governments are having to change how they carry out and report military operations because of the rise of social media, and the strike on Osama bin Laden was a prime example…. – CS Monitor, 5-5-11
  • Bin Laden, two others didn’t fire on SEALs: sources: Only one of four principal targets shot dead by U.S. commandos in the raid which killed Osama bin Laden was involved in any hostile fire, a person familiar with the latest U.S. government reporting on the raid told Reuters on Thursday. The account of Monday’s daring 40-minute raid has new descriptions of the event, including that Navy SEALs shot an occupant of the compound who they thought was armed, but apparently was not. It confirms that bin Laden was not armed when he was shot dead, nor are there indications that he directly threatened his attackers, according to the first source and a second U.S. government source who is familiar with briefings on the raid…. – Reuters, 5-5-11
  • Bush feels Obama ignoring ex-president’s role in Osama Bin Laden strike for ‘victory lap’: source: George W. Bush won’t be at Ground Zero with President Obama Thursday in part because he feels his team is getting short shrift in the decade-long manhunt for Osama Bin Laden. “[Bush] viewed this as an Obama victory lap,” a highly-placed source told the Daily News Wednesday. Bush’s visit to the rubble after the 9/11 attacks was the emotional high point of his presidency, but associates say the invitation to return with his successor was a non-starter.
    “He doesn’t feel personally snubbed and appreciates the invitation, but Obama’s claiming all the credit and a lot of other people deserve some of it,” the source added. “Obama gave no credit whatsoever to the intelligence infrastructure the Bush administration set up that is being hailed from the left and right as setting in motion the operation that got Bin Laden. It rubbed Bush the wrong way.”
    Bush spokesman David Sherzer said Bush “appreciated the invite, but has chosen in his post-presidency to remain largely out of the spotlight.” Associates familiar with his thinking say Bush does not believe Obama or his handlers wanted to exploit his presence. But the tag-team idea “was for the benefit of Obama, and Obama withheld credit from people Bush believes deserved it,” a source said…. – NY Daily News, 5-4-11
  • Sarah Palin tells Obama to stop ‘pussy-footing around’ with release of Bin Laden death photos: Sarah Palin is bashing President Obama’s decision not to release Osama Bin Laden’s death photos, comparing it to holding back his birth certificate. In a speech in Alabama, the Tea Party darling said denying the world a look at the ghoulish photos of the Al Qaeda chief was akin to “pussy-footing around.” “Don’t do kind of that birth certificate whole mocking of Americans for asking for it,” Palin said in a speech in Point Clear, Ala., hours before Obama put the kibosh on releasing the photos.
    After resisting for years, Obama released his long-form birth certificate last week to silence those who doubted he is American born. Earlier Wednesday, Obama told CBS “60 Minutes” that he’s barring release of the Osama photos to avoid inciting “additional violence” or to have them used as a “propaganda tool.” “We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies,” Obama said…. – NY Daily News, 5-4-11
  • Obama in NY: We never forget, we mean what we say: Solemnly honoring victims of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, President Barack Obama hugged survivors, thanked the heroes of one of the nation’s darkest days and declared Thursday that the killing of Osama bin Laden after all these years was an American message to the world: “When we say we will never forget, we mean what we say.” On a brilliant blue-sky day, one of reflection more than celebration, Obama offered New Yorkers a moment of their own. Standing at the gritty construction site of ground zero, where the towers fell and a memorial now rises, the president laid a wreath of red, white and blue flowers for the nearly 3,000 who died as he marked a turning point for the nation and this city of steely resilience. For Obama, the day was about the importance of being in New York in the aftermath of the successful raid to find and kill bin Laden, the al-Qaida leader. Obama addressed families who have watched and wondered for nearly a decade whether the government would track down its most infamous enemy…. – AP, 5-5-11
  • In NYC, Obama says Osama mission ‘sent a message’: Visiting New York just days after the mastermind of the 2001 attack on the city was killed U.S. special forces, President Obama on Thursday told police and firefighters the terrorist’s death is proof that American justice has a long reach. In surprise visits to the “Pride of Midtown” firehouse, which lost 15 men in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks nearly a decade ago, and then later at the 1st Precinct police station in Lower Manhattan, Mr. Obama said the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden Sunday in Pakistan did it “in the name of your brothers that were lost.”
    “What happened on Sunday, because of the courage of our military and the outstanding work of our intelligence, sent a message around the world, but also sent a message here back home that when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say,” the president told the firefighters. He also visited with family members of victims of the attack and laid a wreath at the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero. Along the roads his motorcade was greeted by cheering crowds… – Washington Times, 5-5-11
  • After bin Laden death, Obama visits Ground Zero: Days after the killing of Osama bin Laden, President Barack Obama met New York firefighters and police on Thursday and visited Ground Zero to offer comfort to a city still scarred by the September 11 attacks. His predecessor, George W. Bush, just three days after hijacked planes destroyed the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, had stood bullhorn in hand in the smoldering wreckage to declare, “The people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.” Almost a decade later, in a bookend to that historic visit, Obama came to New York to say that promise had been kept. He said the killing of bin Laden told the world “that when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say.”
    Obama visited Engine 54 in midtown, which with 15 deaths lost more members on 9/11 than any other firehouse, before heading to Lower Manhattan to talk with police and lay a wreath at Ground Zero, the Twin Towers site, where he also met with victims’ families. Obama told firefighters at the “Pride of Manhattan” firehouse, “I wanted to just come here to thank you.” “This is a symbolic site of the extraordinary sacrifice that was made on that terrible day almost 10 years ago,” he said. “It didn’t matter who was in charge, we were going to make sure that the perpetrators of that horrible act — ‘ that they received justice…. – Reuters, 5-5-11

QUOTES

  • The President in NYC: “When We Say We Will Never Forget, We Mean What We Say”:
    To the firefighters: This is a symbolic site of the extraordinary sacrifice that was made on that terrible day almost 10 years ago. Obviously we can’t bring back your friends that were lost, and I know that each and every one of you not only grieve for them, but have also over the last 10 years dealt with their family, their children, trying to give them comfort, trying to give them support.
    What happened on Sunday, because of the courage of our military and the outstanding work of our intelligence, sent a message around the world, but also sent a message here back home that when we say we will never forget, we mean what we say; that our commitment to making sure that justice is done is something that transcended politics, transcended party; it didn’t matter which administration was in, it didn’t matter who was in charge, we were going to make sure that the perpetrators of that horrible act — that they received justice.
    So it’s some comfort, I hope, to all of you to know that when those guys took those extraordinary risks going into Pakistan, that they were doing it in part because of the sacrifices that were made in the States. They were doing it in the name of your brothers that were lost.To the police: And so since that time I know a lot of you have probably comforted loved ones of those who were lost. A lot of you have probably looked after kids who grew up without a parent. And a lot of you continue to do extraordinary — extraordinarily courageous acts without a lot of fanfare. What we did on Sunday was directly connected to what you do every single day. And I know I speak for the military teams, the intelligence teams that helped get bin Laden in saying that we know the sacrifices and courage that you show as well, and that you are part of the team that helped us achieve our goal, but also help us keep our citizens safe each and every day.
    So I couldn’t be prouder of all of you. I couldn’t be more grateful to you. And I hope that you know that the country will continue to stand behind you going forward, because there are still going to be threats out there and you’re still going to be called on to take courageous actions and to remain vigilant, and you’re going to have an entire country behind you when you do it. – WH, 5-5-11
  • Live Video of President Obama’s AddressNYT, 5-1-11
  • Text Obama’s Remarks on Bin Laden’s Killing: Following is the text of President Obama’s remarks Sunday night announcing the killing of Osama bin Laden, as released by the White House… – NYT, 5-1-11
  • REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON OSAMA BIN LADEN East Room 11:35 P.M. EDT:
    THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children.
    It was nearly 10 years ago that a bright September day was darkened by the worst attack on the American people in our history. The images of 9/11 are seared into our national memory — hijacked planes cutting through a cloudless September sky; the Twin Towers collapsing to the ground; black smoke billowing up from the Pentagon; the wreckage of Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the actions of heroic citizens saved even more heartbreak and destruction.
    And yet we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child’s embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts.
    On September 11, 2001, in our time of grief, the American people came together. We offered our neighbors a hand, and we offered the wounded our blood. We reaffirmed our ties to each other, and our love of community and country. On that day, no matter where we came from, what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were, we were united as one American family.
    We were also united in our resolve to protect our nation and to bring those who committed this vicious attack to justice. We quickly learned that the 9/11 attacks were carried out by al Qaeda — an organization headed by Osama bin Laden, which had openly declared war on the United States and was committed to killing innocents in our country and around the globe. And so we went to war against al Qaeda to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies.
    Over the last 10 years, thanks to the tireless and heroic work of our military and our counterterrorism professionals, we’ve made great strides in that effort. We’ve disrupted terrorist attacks and strengthened our homeland defense. In Afghanistan, we removed the Taliban government, which had given bin Laden and al Qaeda safe haven and support. And around the globe, we worked with our friends and allies to capture or kill scores of al Qaeda terrorists, including several who were a part of the 9/11 plot.
    Yet Osama bin Laden avoided capture and escaped across the Afghan border into Pakistan. Meanwhile, al Qaeda continued to operate from along that border and operate through its affiliates across the world.
    And so shortly after taking office, I directed Leon Panetta, the director of the CIA, to make the killing or capture of bin Laden the top priority of our war against al Qaeda, even as we continued our broader efforts to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat his network.
    Then, last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to bin Laden. It was far from certain, and it took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my national security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside of Pakistan. And finally, last week, I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action, and authorized an operation to get Osama bin Laden and bring him to justice.
    Today, at my direction, the United States launched a targeted operation against that compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability. No Americans were harmed. They took care to avoid civilian casualties. After a firefight, they killed Osama bin Laden and took custody of his body.
    For over two decades, bin Laden has been al Qaeda’s leader and symbol, and has continued to plot attacks against our country and our friends and allies. The death of bin Laden marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat al Qaeda.
    Yet his death does not mark the end of our effort. There’s no doubt that al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must –- and we will — remain vigilant at home and abroad.
    As we do, we must also reaffirm that the United States is not –- and never will be -– at war with Islam. I’ve made clear, just as President Bush did shortly after 9/11, that our war is not against Islam. Bin Laden was not a Muslim leader; he was a mass murderer of Muslims. Indeed, al Qaeda has slaughtered scores of Muslims in many countries, including our own. So his demise should be welcomed by all who believe in peace and human dignity.
    Over the years, I’ve repeatedly made clear that we would take action within Pakistan if we knew where bin Laden was. That is what we’ve done. But it’s important to note that our counterterrorism cooperation with Pakistan helped lead us to bin Laden and the compound where he was hiding. Indeed, bin Laden had declared war against Pakistan as well, and ordered attacks against the Pakistani people.
    Tonight, I called President Zardari, and my team has also spoken with their Pakistani counterparts. They agree that this is a good and historic day for both of our nations. And going forward, it is essential that Pakistan continue to join us in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates.
    The American people did not choose this fight. It came to our shores, and started with the senseless slaughter of our citizens. After nearly 10 years of service, struggle, and sacrifice, we know well the costs of war. These efforts weigh on me every time I, as Commander-in-Chief, have to sign a letter to a family that has lost a loved one, or look into the eyes of a service member who’s been gravely wounded.
    So Americans understand the costs of war. Yet as a country, we will never tolerate our security being threatened, nor stand idly by when our people have been killed. We will be relentless in defense of our citizens and our friends and allies. We will be true to the values that make us who we are. And on nights like this one, we can say to those families who have lost loved ones to al Qaeda’s terror: Justice has been done.
    Tonight, we give thanks to the countless intelligence and counterterrorism professionals who’ve worked tirelessly to achieve this outcome. The American people do not see their work, nor know their names. But tonight, they feel the satisfaction of their work and the result of their pursuit of justice.
    We give thanks for the men who carried out this operation, for they exemplify the professionalism, patriotism, and unparalleled courage of those who serve our country. And they are part of a generation that has borne the heaviest share of the burden since that September day.
    Finally, let me say to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11 that we have never forgotten your loss, nor wavered in our commitment to see that we do whatever it takes to prevent another attack on our shores.
    And tonight, let us think back to the sense of unity that prevailed on 9/11. I know that it has, at times, frayed. Yet today’s achievement is a testament to the greatness of our country and the determination of the American people.
    The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.
    Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. – WH, 5-1-11
  • World leaders react to news of bin Laden’s death: World reaction poured in early Monday after President Barack Obama’s announcement that terrorist leader Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan. The U.S. put its diplomatic facilities around the world on high alert and issued a global travel warning for Americans…. – CNN, 5-1-11
  • Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard: “Our fight against terrorism does not end with bin Laden’s death. We must remain vigilant against the threat posed by al Qaeda and the groups it has inspired.” “We will continue our support for the counterterrorism efforts of the United States and our partners, and we will continue our efforts in Afghanistan to ensure that the country never again becomes a safe haven for terrorism.”
  • British Prime Minister David Cameron: “Osama bin Laden was responsible for the worst terrorist atrocities the world has seen — for 9/11 and for so many attacks, which have cost thousands of lives. This is a time to remember all those murdered by Osama bin Laden, and all those who lost loved ones,” he said. “It is also a time too to thank all those who work round the clock to keep us safe from terrorism.”
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Israel joins in the joy of the American people on this historic day in which Osama bin Laden was killed. … This is a resounding victory for justice, freedom and for the joint values of all the countries that fight side by side determinedly against terror.”
  • Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak: “The U.S. proved determination and operational prowess in this operation. Again we learn that the fight against terror is shared by all leading democracies in the world and will be won with joint effort that is not over yet.”
  • Pakistan Foreign Ministry: “In an intelligence driven operation, Osama bin Laden was killed in the surroundings of Abbotabad in the early hours of this morning. This operation was conducted by the U.S. forces in accordance with declared U.S. policy that Osama bin Laden will be eliminated in a direct action by the U.S. forces, wherever found in the world.” “Earlier today, President Obama telephoned President Zardari on the successful U.S. operation which resulted in killing of Osama bin Laden.”
  • Afghan leader: bin Laden strike is blow to terror: Afghanistan’s president lauded Osama bin Laden’s death as a serious blow to terrorism Monday and argued that the strike in Pakistan proves the real fight against terrorists is outside his country’s borders.
    “This is a very important day. Maybe you have already heard on the television or on the radio that American forces have killed Osama bin Laden, delivering him his due punishment,” President Hamid Karzai told an assembly of district government officials in Kabul, as the hall erupted in applause. “For years we have said that the fight against terrorism is not in Afghan villages and houses,” said Karzai. “It is in safe havens, and today that was shown to be true.”… – AP, 5-1-11
  • House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester, called the death of bin Laden “great news for the security of the American people and a victory in our continued fight against al Qaeda and radical extremism around the world.” Boehner commended Obama “and his team, as well as President (George W.) Bush for all of their efforts to bring Osama bin Laden to justice.”
  • Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld congratulate President Obama: Cheney said in a statement early Monday morning that bin Laden’s death was “a victory for the United States and a tremendous achievement for the military and intelligence professionals who carried out this important mission.” In a statement released later in the morning, Rumsfeld called it “an achievement of which our country can be proud.” Cheney – who played a central role in the Bush administration’s efforts to capture or kill bin Laden following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks – thanked those whose “tireless work since 9/11 has made this achievement possible, and enabled us to capture or kill thousands of al Qaeda terrorists and many of their leaders.”
    “At this moment when bin Laden has been brought to justice, we especially remember the sacrifice of the young Americans who’ve paid the ultimate price in defense of the nation, as well as the nearly 3000 Americans who lost their lives on 9/11,” Cheney said. Cheney offered his appreciation to the Obama administration. “I also want to congratulate President Obama and the members of his national security team,” he said. “Al Qaeda remains a dangerous enemy. Though bin Laden is dead, the war goes on,” Cheney said. “We must remain vigiliant, especially now, and we must continue to support our men and women in uniform who are fighting on the front lines of this war every day. Today, the message our forces have sent is clear — if you attack the United States, we will find you and bring you to justice.”
    Rumsfeld, who served in the Bush administration from 2001 to 2006, also praised the Obama administration, but not before celebrating his own. “All of this was made possible by the relentless, sustained pressure on al Qaeda that the Bush administration initiated after 9/11 and that the Obama administration has wisely chosen to continue,” he said. The former defense secretary also noted that interrogations of suspected terrorist at Guantanamo Bay — something he supported — “may have played an essential role in this success.” Rumsfeld, meanwhile, cautioned that “the struggle will go on. We must not have any illusions that it ends today or that America can afford to let down its guard tomorrow.” – Politico, 5-2-11
  • Obama: I won’t release bin Laden death photos: In an interview with Steve Kroft for this Sunday’s “60 Minutes” conducted today, President Obama said he won’t release post-mortem images of Osama bin Laden taken to prove his death. “It is important to make sure that very graphic photos of somebody who was shot in the head are not floating around as an incitement to additional violence or as a propaganda tool,” said the president. “We don’t trot out this stuff as trophies,” Mr. Obama added. “The fact of the matter is, this is somebody who was deserving of the justice that he received.”
    In explaining his choice not to release the photo, Mr. Obama said that “we don’t need to spike the football.” He said that “given the graphic nature of these photos it would create a national security risk.” “We discussed this internally,” he said. “Keep in mind that we are absolutely certain that this was him. We’ve done DNA sampling and testing. And so there is no doubt that we killed Osama bin Laden.” When Kroft noted that there are people in Pakistan and elsewhere who believe bin Laden is still alive, the president said “we we monitoring worldwide reaction.” “There is no doubt that Osama bin Laden is dead,” he said. “Certainly there is no doubt among al Qaeda members that he is dead. So we don’t think that a photograph in and of itself is going to make any difference.” “There are going to be some folks who deny it,” he added. “The fact of the matter is, you will not see bin Laden walking on this earth again.”… – CBS News, 5-5-11TRANSCRIPT: Obama discusses decision not to release images on CBS’s “60 Minutes”

HISTORIANS & ANALYSTS’ COMMENTS

  • Osama bin Laden’s death will boost Obama approval rating, but for how long?: Amid bipartisan praise for the bin Laden mission, the Obama approval rating will get a bump, but the feel-good moment won’t last forever. In the 2012 election, economic recovery will be the issue.
    “Obviously [the death of bin Laden] is a big mission accomplished, and the exuberance will clearly benefit Obama,” says Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University. “There will be a moment of celebration, but then the partisanship will continue. It doesn’t insulate him from those kinds of attacks down the line.” Still, Mr. Zelizer adds, the elimination of Mr. bin Laden is not just a foreign policy and military achievement; the war on terror is one of the big issues of our era, and bin Laden was enemy No. 1. “Clearly,” he says, “it’s something Republicans are aware is going to loom large in the public’s mind – that he was the president to do it.”… – CS Monitor, 5-2-11
  • Jeremi Suri: Reaction to Bin Laden: Osama bin Laden is dead – and a U-W Madison professor said it took a sensitive-and-complex operation for American forces to pull it off. The mastermind of the September 11th terrorist attacks from 2001 was shot-to-death yesterday in a firefight with U-S troops in Pakistan. Madison history professor Jeremi Suri said it required the combining of intelligence, diplomacy, and the military – as well as a keen understanding of Middle East affairs. Suri told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel it took a long time but the result shows that quote, “The United States has the capabilities to do this.” Bin Laden was thought for years to be in Pakistan, but U-S intelligence had lost his trail for most of the time since 9-11. But America got a fresh tip last August. President Obama said late last night that it took months to confirm everything – and he was finally able to approve a secret military operation last week. U-W professor Suri called it one of the most successful operations of this kind in the Muslim world. But Marquette professor Phillip Naylor says new leaders have emerged in al-Qaida, and there are still challenges to snuff them out. Naylor calls bin Laden’s death an historic event but quote, “extremism is still out there.” – University of Wisconsin – Madison, WHBL, 5-2-11
  • Bin Laden’s death doesn’t end war on terror: “Decapitation does not mean the end of the movement,” said Georgetown University professor Bruce Hoffman, who has studied terrorism and insurgencies for more than three decades. Hoffman said al-Qaeda’s surviving franchises are likely to be joined by other aspiring groups jockeying to fill a leadership void left in the wake of bin Laden’s death. “Some may see this as an opportunity to steal the limelight,” Hoffman said. “While the risk may go up, the good news is that in the rush to do something, some of these (attacks) may go off half-cocked” and allow U.S. officials to learn more about the surviving terror networks…..
    Mark Lytle, Bard College historian and co-author of the American history textbook, Nation of Nations, called the killing of bin Laden “a shot in the arm for America’s image,” especially compared to the debacle that resulted when President Jimmy Carter mounted a similar effort to rescue American hostages in Iran in 1980. “Americans can take a certain comfort that we were able to do this, especially in a period that’s been pretty grim for the average citizen,” he said Monday. But for all the euphoria, Lytle said bin Laden’s demise probably seems more important now than it will in retrospect. “This is sweet revenge, but it won’t change much,” he said. “Sept. 11 will be remembered because so much changed.” – USA Today, 5-2-11
  • Officials warn that bin Laden’s death does not end war on terror: “It remains to be seen whether al Qaeda will come up with another leader of the magnetism that bin Laden had,” said Peter Mansoor, a professor of military history at Ohio State who as an army colonel served as Petraeus’ executive officer in Iraq. “If it does, it will continue. If not, it will splinter into a lot of operations.”
    Even though administration officials said Sunday night the White House did not reveal the operation to Pakistani officials until after the attack, Mansoor guessed that “this was coordinated” with Pakistani government officials. “I think it would be highly unusual for us to do a military operation in Pakistan without letting them know,” Mansoor said. “Even all the drone strikes (inside Pakistan) are coordinated,” adding that the Pakistanis “don’t want to admit it, but they are.” Mansoor also said “it makes sense” that the U.S. buried bin Laden at sea. “You don’t want the grave to become a shrine for Islamic militants or vandalized by people who hate Osama bin Laden. It’s the same reason Hitler doesn’t have a grave.”… – The Columbus Dispatch, 5-2-11
  • Joel Beinin, professor of Middle East history at Stanford: KTVU watched President Obama’s speech with Joel Beinin, a professor of Middle East history at Stanford. He said bin Laden’s death was a blow to would-be terrorists and mostly symbolic. He also said there was a very important piece missing from the President’s speech. “He did not once mention any cooperation from Pakistan intelligence or government, so indirectly it seems to me the speech indicated there was not collaboration on this,” said Prof. Beinin. “Historically there have been links between Pakistan and Al Qaeda.” That fact was an important one, according to Beinin, because Pakistan is a U.S. ally, but a difficult one with its own interests. – KTVU, 5-2-11
  • A Survey of Books About Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda: The Al Qaeda leader was killed by U.S. forces in Pakistan in a firefight during a “targeted operation” Mr. Obama ordered. Since 9/11, there has been an outpouring of books about Osama bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the Sept. 11 attacks and the war in Afghanistan. Here is an annotated list of some of the more useful books on those subjects….
    THE LONGEST WAR: The Enduring Conflict Between America and Al-Qaeda (2011) By Peter L. Bergen.
    OSAMA: The Making of a Terrorist (2004). By Jonathan Randal.
    THE BIN LADENS: An Arabian Family in the American Century (2008). By Steve Coll.
    HOLY WAR, INC.: Inside the Secret World of Osama bin Laden (2001). By Peter L. Bergen.
    OSAMA BIN LADEN (2011). By Michael Scheuer.
    THE LOOMING TOWER: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 (2006) By Lawrence Wright.
    IN THE GRAVEYARD OF EMPIRES: America’s War in Afghanistan (2009). By Seth G. Jones.
    GHOST WARS: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2004). By Steve Coll. – NYT, 5-2-11
  • The War on Terror After Osama bin Laden: The killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan caused jubilation in the United States. In announcing Bin Laden’s death on Sunday, President Obama said that it “marks the most significant achievement to date in our nation’s effort to defeat Al Qaeda.” But, the president continued, “there’s no doubt that Al Qaeda will continue to pursue attacks against us. We must and we will remain vigilant at home and abroad.” What does the death mean for the future of United States involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and how does it affect the direction of the global war on terror?… – NYT, 5-2-11
    Vanda Felbab-Brown, Brookings Institution: A Limited Demoralizing Effect
    Juan Zarate, former counterterrorism official: Al Qaeda’s Internal Divisions
    C. Christine Fair, Georgetown University: The Taliban Is Not the Enemy
    Mark Quarterman, Center for Strategic and International Studies: More Powerful Dead Than Alive? Gilles Dorronsoro Gilles Dorronsoro, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Finding New Recruits
  • Bruce Buchanan: Inside the Beltway: “He was matter-of-fact, he was perfunctory in his delivery of very serious news, and that worked for him,” Bruce Buchanan, a University of Texas presidential historian, tells Inside the Beltway.
    “Mr. Obama was the one who got to pull the trigger on this rather than President George W. Bush, though there is a certain luck of the draw involved. Still, Mr. Obama gets only a short-term political boost,” Mr. Buchanan says. “We are still far, far away from the 2012 election, and those public passions can fade very quickly.” – Washington Times, 5-2-11
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