President Abraham Lincoln said, "The Union, in any event, won’t be dissolved. We don’t want to dissolve it, and if you attempt it, we won’t let you."
Just as Abraham Lincoln uttered the words above regarding the greatest threat to our country’s unity, the American people will not let the terrorist events of September 11 dissolve our Union.
In addressing the nation during his speech before a joint session of Congress on September 20, President Bush relayed that very message.
The President spoke about lifting the "dark threat of violence from our people and our future." In carrying out this effort, he said of the American people, "we will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail."
Never before in the 225-year history of this great Nation have our citizens suffered an attack on our soil with the magnitude we experienced on that Tuesday.
Never before in our history have we witnessed such a brutal assault on innocent civilians as was carried out by the terrorist pilots who used commercial airliners as missiles.
Never before have the American people felt the helplessness in the minutes during which this terror from the sky rained down.
The morning of September 11 will forever be remembered as a morning that changed the United States.
All of the important issues of the day instantly moved to the background as defending our homeland against this act of war moved to the fore. In a single morning the priorities of the American people shifted to combating this evil force known as terrorism.
We have known for years that terrorism is a real threat to our national security.
We now realize it is a threat to our everyday lives. I don’t believe any of us will ever be the same. We will be a little more hesitant when we travel by plane. We might have second thoughts when we enter a large office complex or a government building.
We must not, though, let the thought of terrorism disrupt us from our daily lives.
The greatness of the United States is not seen in our successes, but in our determination in the face of adversity. We have survived a revolution, a civil war, two world wars, race riots, presidential assassinations, and many other hardships. We will survive and gain strength from this tragedy.
As a member of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, I feel assured we will find answers and solutions. We will find those who committed this heinous crime against life, and we will administer swift and appropriate justice.
We will thoroughly question and examine our intelligence procedures that allowed four airliners to be hijacked almost simultaneously within our borders without forewarning. We will scrutinize our transportation systems that allowed these terrorists to evade all security measures, and we will provide President Bush with the means to find these answers and fully protect the American people against future terrorism.
This is a dark evil that faces all the world’s people who believe in freedom and liberty and a civilized society. Hatred and intolerance are at the core of these terrorist’s beliefs. We have a great history in this country of combating those who wish to spread evil and wickedness around the globe. We will rise once again to meet this challenge. We will defeat terrorism.
I join all citizens in expressing our grief and condolences to the victims and the families of victims of this attack. I also join our citizens in condemning acts of violence and intolerance here. We are a nation of immigrants.
We are a nation of tolerance and understanding and religious freedom. Most of all, we are a nation of laws.
Just as we will fight terrorism around the world, we will fight intolerance at home.
Continue your prayers for the victims, their families, and the public service officials in their rescue and recovery efforts. We have heard and will continue to hear many stories of tragedy, as well as heroism, that took place September 11.
I urge everyone to remember these stories and grow stronger in their memory.
God Bless the United States of America. IBI