Obama Calls for Unity on 9/11, Amid Some Trying to ‘Stoke Bitterness’

Sep 11, 2010 6:00am

From Sunlen Miller

Noting that at a time of “difficulty” for the country on the anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, President Obama calls on the nation to be united by commonalities, even as some may still try to drum up bitterness.

“It is often in such moments that some try to stoke bitterness — to divide us based on our differences, to blind us to what we have in common,” the president says in his weekly address. “But on this day, we are reminded that at our best, we do not give in to this temptation. We stand with one another.”

In his weekly address falling on the ninth anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the president says the nation must pause to remember a day that “tested” the country — a pain, he says, that will “never diminish” with the passage of time.

“That is why, on this day, we pray with the families of those who died.  We mourn with husbands and wives, children and parents, friends and loved ones. We think about the milestones that have passed over the course of nine years — births and christenings, weddings and graduations — all with an empty chair.”

The president said that those who died so that other might live must also be honored, including those who fought in the wars that followed the attacks.

“The firefighters and first responders who climbed the stairs of two burning towers; the passengers who stormed a cockpit; and the men and women who have, in the years since, borne the uniform of this country and given their lives so that our children could grow up in a safer world.”

Mr. Obama calls on the nation to renew the fight against those who “perpetrated this barbaric act of terror and who continue to plot against us.”

Noting the “true spirit” of that September day, President Obama also calls for renewing of a sentiment: "Not the human capacity for evil, but the human capacity for good.  Not the desire to destroy, but the impulse to save.”

“That is why we mark September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance.  For if there is a lesson to be drawn on this anniversary, it is this: we are one nation – one people – bound not only by grief, but by a set of common ideals.  And that by giving back to our communities, by serving people in need, we reaffirm our ideals – in defiance of those who would do us grave harm.”

The president will participate in a service event in Washington, D.C., after observing a moment of silence at the White House and Pentagon this morning.

-Sunlen Miller

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