Bush: ‘What our enemies have begun, we will finish’

WBy Patrick W. Higgins

wASHINGTON (U-WIRE)- President George W. Bush capped off a day of remembrance with a speech from Ellis Island in New York Harbor last night, honoring the victims of the last year’s attacks in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., with a message of hope for the future.

“Tomorrow is Sept. 12,” Bush said. “A milestone has passed, and a mission goes on. Be confident, our nation is strong.”

Bush’s address from Ellis Island was one of only two that he delivered during the day in an attempt to preserve a certain

“solemnity” his aides said.

The speech began with words of respect for victims, their families, the men and women of the armed services and the rescue workers who responded to all three crash sites.The president said that this past year was “a year of sorrow” and “adjustment.”

Bush’s focus then turned to the future as he encouraged all Americans to “fill their days with things that matter” in light of the fragility of life proven by the loss of over 3,000 lives in the attacks.

“We value every life, our enemies value none,” the president said, “not of the innocent, not their own.”

The president offered chilling words for potential terrorists and “evil-doers” when he said, “What our enemies have begun, we will finish.”

To conclude his final address for the day, Bush offered words of hope for all Americans. “We are patient and we are steadfast. Now and in the future, Americans will live in freedom and not fear.”

The president’s address was brief, lasting about 10 minutes, and was the last stop in a full day of ceremonies to mark the one year anniversary of the destruction of the World Trade Center and the damage to the Pentagon when terrorists slammed four commercial airliners into symbols of American power and wealth.

Bush began the day at the Pentagon where he joined Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers in a tribute to the victims and the recently rebuild “E-ring” that was destroyed by American Airlines Flight 77.

Bush then traveled to Shanksville, Pa., to the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 where he visited with family and friends of those killed in the attacks before arriving at Ground Zero in New York City. Flight 93 was believed to be destined for Washington, D.C., but was brought down by a passenger uprising.

The president will remain in Manhattan for the night as he prepares to plead his case for an attack against Iraq before the United Nations on Sept. 12.