Bush: 'Freedom Will Be Defended'

From Associated Press

The texts of President Bush's remarks today following terrorist attacks in New York and Washington:

At Barksdale Air Force Base, La., this afternoon:

Freedom itself was attacked this morning by a faceless coward, and freedom will be defended.

I want to reassure the American people that the full resources of the federal government are working to assist local authorities to save lives and to help the victims of these attacks.

Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts. I've been in regular contact with the vice president, secretary of Defense, the national security team and my Cabinet. We have taken all appropriate security precautions to protect the American people. Our military at home and around the world is on high-alert status and we have taken the necessary security precautions to continue the functions of your government. We have been in touch with the leaders of Congress and with world leaders to assure them that we will do whatever is necessary to protect America and Americans.

I ask the American people to join me in saying a thanks for all the folks who have been fighting hard to rescue our fellow citizens and to join me in saying a prayer for the victims and their families.

The resolve of our great nation is being tested. But make no mistake: We will show the world that we will pass this test. God bless.

In Sarasota, Fla., this morning, before attacks spread to Washington:

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a difficult moment for America. I unfortunately will be going back to Washington after my remarks. Secretary Rod Paige and the lieutenant governor will take the podium and discuss education.

I do want to thank the folks here at the Booker Elementary School for their hospitality.

Today, we've had a national tragedy. Two airplanes have crashed into the World Trade Center in an apparent terrorist attack on our country. I have spoken to the vice president, to the governor of New York, to the director of the FBI, and I've ordered that the full resources of the federal government go to help the victims and their families and to conduct a full-scale investigation to hunt down and to find those folks who committed this act.

Terrorism against our nation will not stand.

And now if you join me in a moment of silence.

May God bless the victims, their families and America. Thank you very much.

--- UNPUBLISHED NOTE ---

This story was published this afternoon as part of a special 8-page extra edition wrap focusing on today's tragic events. Entitled "Terrorism Hits the U.S.," the wrap focused on the most important events of the day, the history of World Trade Center, terrorism and other safety concerns. It wrapped today's second daily and was distributed to major single copy retailers and high traffic commuter areas by early afternoon.

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