President George Bush addressed the nation from the Oval Office on the evening of September 11, 2001.
These are the words that he spoke:
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, business men and women, military and federal workers, moms and
dads, friends and neighbors.
Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.
The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing have filled
us with disbelief, terrible sadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.
These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But
they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.
Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch
the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of
America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and
opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.
Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, and we responded with the best
of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors
who came to give blood and help in any way they could.
Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response
plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New
York City and Washington, D.C., to help with local rescue efforts.
Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured and to take every precaution
to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.
The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in
Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel
tonight and will be open for business tomorrow.
Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for
business as well.
The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts.
I've directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find
those responsible and bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the
terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.
I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly
condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world
leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.
America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the
world and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.
Tonight I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have
been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray
they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages in Psalm
23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil for you
are with me."
This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and
peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time.
None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is
good and just in our world.
Thank you. Good night and God bless America
President Bush addresses the nation on September 11, 2001