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Friday, 9 November, 2001, 08:58 GMT
Bush rallies 'stronger' America
George Bush
President Bush praised rescue workers
President George W Bush has issued a rallying call to Americans, telling them they are stronger and more united following the 11 September attacks.

This new era requires new responsibilities both for the government and for our people

George W Bush
In a prime-time address to the nation, he paid tribute to the country's "new heroes", the rescue workers and public servants who had helped America's recovery.

There was also special mention for postal workers who have borne the brunt of the current anthrax outbreak.

"We are a different country than we were on 10 September: sadder and less innocent; stronger and more united; and in the face of ongoing threats, determined and more courageous," Mr Bush said.

His 5,000-strong audience in the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta was made up mainly of police, fire service and other uniformed public servants, and the speech was interrupted more than 25 times by bursts of applause.

Fire crews in New York
Emergency crews have been hailed as heroes
Mr Bush told his audience the United States was waging a war to save civilisation itself.

"There is a difference between being alert and being intimidated, and this nation will not be intimidated."

Mr Bush also made a plea for Congress to pass a new airport security bill, and called on politicians to put aside party politics.

Renewing values

Nearly two months after the atrocities in New York and Washington, President Bush said the government was doing its utmost to stop fresh attacks, and he called for the creation of a new volunteer civil defence force to respond to local emergencies.

"This new era requires new responsibilities both for the government and for our people," he said.

"Our great national opportunity is to preserve forever the good that has resulted. Through the tragedy, we are renewing and reclaiming our strong American values."

Ground Zero, New York
The president says the US is now a "different country"
He said people should volunteer to work in hospitals and other places which could respond directly to terrorist attacks.

"Many ask: What can I do to help in our fight? The simple answer is all of us can become a 11 September volunteer by making a commitment to service in our own communities."

Mr Bush also unveiled the creation of a task force on citizen preparedness.

It will have 40 days to make recommendations on helping Americans prepare their homes, neighbourhoods, schools and workplaces for potential terrorist attacks.

'Let's roll'

The loudest applause came at the end, when the president praised the actions of passengers who fought hijackers aboard United Airlines Flight 93 before it crashed in Pennsylvania.

Mr Bush recalled the words of one passenger, Todd Beamer, who was overheard on a mobile phone to say, "Let's roll" as passengers charged the terrorists.

Mr Bush said: "We will no doubt face new challenges. But we have our marching orders: My fellow Americans, let's roll."

The BBC's Duncan Kennedy in Washington
"The audience of firefighters, military, and their families rallied to their leader's stand"
The BBC's Steve Kingstone
"Behind the scenes a lot of talking is being done"
George W Bush
speaks at the World Congress Centre
See also:

08 Nov 01 | Americas
US appoints terror war spin doctor
08 Nov 01 | Americas
Parachute for high-rise worriers
03 Nov 01 | Americas
FBI appeals for anthrax help
09 Nov 01 | Americas
Doubts over FBI shake-up
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