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Proud To Be An American

When the country came together after 9/11, I said that many younger Americans were seeing something they had never seen before, and that was a united America.

During the horror of those days, I said it was important for us to recognize that grief is a part of healing, but that, as a country, we must never surrender to despair, nor was there a need to, because American resolve was still the most powerful force on earth.

It does not diminish the tragedy of what happened on 9/11 to remember that a united America was able to vanquish a far greater evil once before during War World II. Rather, that memory should only increase our resolve for what may be ahead.

There can be no accommodation or appeasement of terrorists who deliberately take the lives of innocent people. They must be eliminated or set apart from the rest of us. The only argument can be over how to do it. But it is doable. And together, we can find a way, as we have found a way before.

I believe that more strongly today than I did 12 months ago because of what I have seen since then. Others may have been willing to kill themselves and the innocent to publicize their cause, but we saw something far different: the noble courage of thousands of our people, Americans from every strata of our society, who were willing to risk and sometimes give their lives to save the innocent.

This has been a terrible time, but a time when all of us have again realized how much we need and depend on each other, and like most of you, I am sure, a time when I have never been prouder to be an American.