President George W. Bush
gives an emotional speech at the Pentagon on October 11, 2001.
October 11, 2001
October 11, 2001
October 11, 2001
of the Press Secretary - October 11, 2001 President Pays
Tribute at Pentagon Memorial
Remarks by the
President at the Department of Defense Service of Remembrance
11:55 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Please
President and Senator Clinton, thank you all for being here. We
have come here to pay our respects to
125 men and women who died in the service of America. We also
remember 64 passengers on a hijacked
plane; those men and women, boys and girls who fell into the hands of
evildoers, and also died here exactly
one month ago.
On September 11th, great sorrow came to our country. And from
that sorrow has come great resolve.
Today, we are a nation awakened to the evil of terrorism, and determined
to destroy it. That work began
the moment we were attacked; and it will continue until justice is
Americans are returning, as we must, to the normal pursuits of life.
(Applause.) Americans are returning,
as we must, to the normal pursuits of life. But we know that
if you lost a son or daughter here, or a husband,
or a wife, or a mom or dad, life will never again be as it was. The
loss was sudden, and hard, and permanent.
So difficult to explain. So difficult to accept.
Three schoolchildren traveling with their teacher. An Army
general. A budget analyst who reported to work
here for 30 years. A lieutenant commander in the Naval
Reserve who left behind a wife, a four-year-old son,
and another child on the way.
One life touches so many others. One death can leave sorrow
that seems almost unbearable. But to all of
you who lost someone here, I want to say: You are not alone. The
American people will never forget the
cruelty that was done here and in New York, and in the sky over
We will never forget all the innocent people killed by the hatred of a
few. We know the loneliness you feel
in your loss. The entire nation, entire nation shares in your
sadness. And we pray for you and your loved
ones. And we will always honor their memory.
The hijackers were instruments of evil who died in vain. Behind
them is a cult of evil which seeks to harm
the innocent and thrives on human suffering. Theirs is the
worst kind of cruelty, the cruelty that is fed, not
weakened, by tears. Theirs is the worst kind of violence,
pure malice, while daring to claim the authority of
God. We cannot fully understand the designs and power of
evil. It is enough to know that evil, like goodness,
exists. And in the terrorists, evil has found a willing
In New York, the terrorists chose as their target a symbol of America's
freedom and confidence. Here, they
struck a symbol of our strength in the world. And the attack
on the Pentagon, on that day, was more
symbolic than they knew. It was on another September 11th --
September 11th, 1941 -- that construction on
this building first began. America was just then awakening to another
menace: The Nazi terror in Europe.
And on that very night, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke to the
nation. The danger, he warned, has long
ceased to be a mere possibility. The danger is here now. Not
only from a military enemy, but from an enemy
of all law, all liberty, all morality, all religion.
For us too, in the year 2001, an enemy has emerged that rejects every
limit of law, morality, and religion.
The terrorists have no true home in any country, or culture, or faith. They
dwell in dark corners of earth.
And there, we will find them.
This week, I have called -- (applause) -- this week, I have called the
Armed Forces into action. One by
one, we are eliminating power centers of a regime that harbors al Qaeda
terrorists. We gave that regime
a choice: Turn over the terrorists, or face your ruin. They
chose unwisely. (Applause.)
The Taliban regime has brought nothing but fear and misery to the people
of Afghanistan. These rulers
call themselves holy men, even with their record of drawing money from
heroin trafficking. They consider
themselves pious and devout, while subjecting women to fierce brutality.
The Taliban has allied itself with murderers and gave them shelter. But
today, for al Qaeda and the Taliban,
there is no shelter. (Applause.) As Americans did 60 years
ago, we have entered a struggle of uncertain
duration. But now, as then, we can be certain of the outcome,
because we have a number of decisive assets.
We have a unified country. We have the patience to fight and
win on many fronts: Blocking terrorist plans,
seizing their funds, arresting their networks, disrupting their
communications, opposing their sponsors. And
we have one more great asset in this cause: The brave men and
women of the United States
From my first days in this office, I have felt and seen the strong
spirit of the Armed Forces. I saw it at
Fort Stewart, Georgia, when I first reviewed our troops as
Commander-in-Chief, and looked into the faces
of proud and determined soldiers. I saw it in Annapolis on a
graduation day, at Camp Pendleton in California,
Camp Bondsteel in Kosovo. And I have seen this spirit at the
Pentagon, before and after the attack on this
You've responded to a great emergency with calm and courage. And
for that, your country honors you.
A Commander-in-Chief must know, must know that he can count on the skill
and readiness of servicemen
and women at every point in the chain of command. You have
given me that confidence.
And I give you these commitments. The wound to this building
will not be forgotten, but it will be repaired.
Brick by brick, we will quickly rebuild the Pentagon. (Applause.) In
the missions ahead for the military, you
will have everything you need, every resource, every weapon --
(applause) -- every means to assure full
victory for the United States and the cause of freedom. (Applause.)
And I pledge to you that America will never relent on this war against
terror. (Applause.) There will be times
of swift, dramatic action. There will be times of steady,
quiet progress. Over time, with patience, and
precision, the terrorists will be pursued. They will be
isolated, surrounded, cornered, until there is no place
to run, or hide, or rest. (Applause.)
As military and civilian personnel in the Pentagon, you are an important
part of the struggle we have entered.
You know the risks of your calling, and you have willingly accepted
them. You believe in our country, and our
country believes in you. (Applause.)
Within sight of this building is Arlington Cemetery, the final resting
place of many thousands who died for
our country over the generations. Enemies of America have now added to
these graves, and they wish to
add more. Unlike our enemies, we value every life, and we
mourn every loss.
Yet we're not afraid. Our cause is just, and worthy of
sacrifice. Our nation is strong of heart, firm of
purpose. Inspired by all the courage that has come before, we
will meet our moment and we will prevail.
May God bless you all, and may God bless America. (Applause.)
Bush & Rumsfeld
11, 2002 - Military Salute at Pentagon Remembrance Ceremony
President Bush at
Honor Guard returns
after 9/11 Pentagon
More September Attack Speeches
By U.S. President George W. Bush
Speeches (2) to America on September 11, 2001
Speech to Congress on September 20, 2001
U.S. Airstrikes TV Address to America on October 7, 2001
Speech to Firemen and Police in Atlanta on November 8, 2001
Speech to the United Nations on November 10, 2001
11, 2001 Terrorist
Attacks on America
Complete News Archives of September 11, 2001 and the Years That
Headlines, Newspapers, Timelines,
Mysteries, and History
the many souls who lost their lives,
the World Trade Center,
the Pentagon, and on airline flights 11, 175, 77, & 93.
The courage and sacrifice shown by the FDNY firefighters, the NYC
other NYC EMS will never be forgotten. History will remember