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Friday, 14 September, 2001, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
'Our purpose as a nation is firm'
President Bush speaks at memorial service
President Bush said Americans had proved resourceful and brave
Americans joined together in a day of prayer and remembrance on Friday.

President George W Bush gave an emotional speech at a memorial service in Washington DC.

Here is the full text.


We are here in the middle hour of our grief.

So many have suffered so great loss and today we express our nation's sorrow.

We come before God to pray for the missing and the dead and for those who love them.


Our country was attacked with deliberate and massive cruelty

On Tuesday our country was attacked with deliberate and massive cruelty.

We have seen the images of fire and ashes and bent steel.

Now come the names, the list of casualties we are only beginning to read.

They are the names of men and women who began their day at a desk or in an airport, busy with life.

They are the names of people who faced death and in their last moments called home to say 'be brave and I love you'.

Rescuers' names

They are the names of passengers who defied their murderers and prevented the murder of others on the ground.

They are the names of men and women who wore the uniform of the United States and died at their posts.

They are the names of rescuers, the ones whom death found running up the stairs and into the fires to help others.

Emergency workers sift through the rubble
President Bush praised rescuers who had risked their lives
We will read all these names, we will linger over them and learn their stories and many Americans will weep.

To the children and parents and spouses and families and friends of the lost, we offer the deepest symnpathy of the nation. And I assure you, you are not alone.

Just three days removed from these events, Americans do not yet have the distance of history.

But our responsibility to history is already clear - to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.

War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder.

Unhealed wounds

This nation is peaceful but fierce when stirred to anger.

This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing.

Our purpose as a nation is firm yet our wounds as a people are recent and unhealed and lead us to pray.


This conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others - it will end in a way and at an hour of our choosing.

In many of our prayers this week there is a searching and an honesty.

At St Patrick's Cathedral in New York on Tuesday a woman said 'I pray to God to give us a sign that he is still here'.

Others have prayed for the same, searching hospital to hospital carrying pictures of those still missing.

God's signs are not always the ones we look for.

We learn in tragedy that his purposes are not always our own, yet the prayers of private suffering whether in our homes or in this great cathedral are known and heard and understood.

Strangers' prayers

There are prayers that help us last through the day or endure the night.

There are prayers of friends or strangers that give us strength for the journey.

And there are prayers that yield our will to a will greater than our own.

Plane explodes
President Bush said it was too soon to have the 'distance of history'
This world He created is of moral design. Grief and tragedy and hatred are only for a time.

Goodness and remembrance and love have no end.

And the lord of life holds all who die and all who mourn.

It is said that adversity introduces us to ourselves. This is true of a nation as well.

In this trial we have been reminded and the world has seen that our fellow Americans are generous and kind, resourceful and brave.

We see our national character in rescuers working past exhaustion, in long lines of blood donors, in thousands of citizens who have asked to work and serve in any way possible.

Last rites

And we have seen our national character in eloquent acts of sacrifice.

Inside the World Trade Center, one man who could have saved himself stayed until the end at the side of his quadraplegic friend.

A beloved priest died giving the last rites to a firefighter.


We feel what Franklin Roosevelt called the warm courage of national unity

Two office workers, finding a disabled stranger, carried her down 68 floors to safety.

A group of men drove through the night from Dallas to Washington to bring skin grafts for burn victims.

In these acts and many others, Americans showed a deep commitment to one another and an abiding love for our country.

Today we feel what Franklin Roosevelt called the warm courage of national unity.

Parties joined

This is a unity of every faith and every background.

This has joined together political parties in both houses of Congress.

It is evident in services of prayers and candelight vigils and American flags which are displayed in pride and waved in defiance.

Mourners join a remembrance service in Kenya
President Bush said 'unity against terror' was spreading globally
Our unity is a kinship of grief and a steadfast resolve to prevail against our enemies.

And this unity against terror is now extending across the world.

America is a nation full of good fortune - with so much to be grateful for. But we are not spared from suffering.

In every generation the world has produced enemies of human freedom.

They have attacked America because we are freedom's home and defender and the commitment of our fathers is now the calling of our time.

New promise

On this national day of prayer and remembrance we ask almighty God to watch over our nation and grant us patience and resolve in all that is to come.

We pray he will comfort and console those who now walk in sorrow.

We thank him for each life we now must mourn and the promise of a life to come.

As we have been assured neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor height nor depth can separate us from God's love.

May He bless the souls of the departed, may He comfort our own and may He always guide our country. God bless America.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
President George W Bush
"Today we express our nation's sorrow"
The BBC's David Loyn
"There seemed to be a tear in almost every eye"
See also:

14 Sep 01 | Americas
Manhunt widens beyond US borders
14 Sep 01 | Europe
Europe mourns with US
14 Sep 01 | Africa
Kenya mourns with US
14 Sep 01 | Europe
FBI 'ignored leads'
14 Sep 01 | Americas
In pictures: A world in mourning
14 Sep 01 | South Asia
Taleban defiant over Bin Laden
14 Sep 01 | Asia-Pacific
S Korea mourns US victims
13 Sep 01 | Americas
Q&A: Striking back
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