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Bush Recalls 9-11, Defends Iraq War

Declares, "security of every American is at stake..."

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Dateline: August 20, 2005

President Bush today invoked the memory of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in defense of the United States' continued involvement in the Iraq war.

"In a few weeks, our country will mark the four-year anniversary of the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. On that day, we learned that vast oceans and friendly neighbors no longer protect us from those who wish to harm our people. And since that day, we have taken the fight to the enemy," stated Bush in his weekly radio address to the nation.

"Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy," said the President. "They know that if we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war, and they know we will prevail." The complete transcript of the address follows:

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. In a few weeks, our country will mark the four-year anniversary of the attacks of September the 11th, 2001. On that day, we learned that vast oceans and friendly neighbors no longer protect us from those who wish to harm our people. And since that day, we have taken the fight to the enemy.

We have combated terrorists on the home front by disrupting terror cells and their financial support networks. We're fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world, striking them in foreign lands before they can attack us here at home. And we're spreading the hope of freedom across the broader Middle East. By advancing the cause of liberty in a troubled region, we are bringing security to our own citizens and laying the foundations of peace for our children and grandchildren.

In this war, our nation depends on the courage of those who wear the uniform. During the coming weeks, I will meet with some of the brave men and women who have been on the front lines in the war on terror. Next week in Idaho, I will visit with some of the fine citizen soldiers of the Idaho National Guard. I will also see the men and women of the Mountain Home Air Force Base who played a leading role in the air campaign in Afghanistan after the September the 11th attacks. I will thank all of them for their service in the war on terror and I will thank the families who make their essential work possible.

Our troops know that they're fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere to protect their fellow Americans from a savage enemy. They know that if we do not confront these evil men abroad, we will have to face them one day in our own cities and streets, and they know that the safety and security of every American is at stake in this war, and they know we will prevail.

Next week, in Utah, I will also address the Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention and thank the proud veterans who have given today's troops such a noble example of devotion and courage. At the end of the month, I will join our veterans and current service members in San Diego to commemorate the 60th anniversary of V-J Day, the day that ended World War II, the bloodiest conflict in human history.

The veterans of World War II defended America when ruthless foes threatened our freedom and our very way of life. And after winning a great victory, they helped former enemies rebuild and form free and peaceful societies that would become strong allies of America. The World War II generation endured great suffering and sacrifice because they understood that defeating tyranny in Europe and Asia was essential to the security and freedom of America.

Like previous wars we have waged to protect our freedom, the war on terror requires great sacrifice from Americans. By their courage and sacrifices, today's soldiers, sailors, airmen, Coast Guardsmen and Marines are taking their rightful place among the heroes of history, and the American people are thankful and proud. In this war, many of these brave men and women have given their lives to defend their fellow citizens and to bring the hope of freedom to millions who have not known it. We owe these fallen heroes our gratitude, and we offer their families our heartfelt condolences and prayers.

Now we must finish the task that our troops have given their lives for and honor their sacrifice by completing their mission. We can be confident in the ultimate triumph of our cause, because we know that freedom is the future of every nation and that the side of freedom is the side of victory.

Thank you for listening.

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