In a speech marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11, President Obama said that in the years following one of America’s darkest chapters, the country has kept its faith.
“The Bible tells us, ‘weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning,’” Obama said.
Addressing a 9/11 memorial concert at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the president said that the country’s resilience in recovering from 9/11 proves that the United States has not given in to fear.
“Our character as a nation has not changed. Our faith — in God and each other — that has not changed,” Obama said. “These past 10 years have shown America’s resolve to defend its citizens, and our way of life.”
The 9/11 memorials in New York, Shanksville, Pa., and at the Pentagon, the president argued, are symbols of the country’s unbreakable will.
“It will be said that we kept the faith, that we took a painful blow, and we emerged stronger,” he said.
Obama praised the 2 million men and women who have served in the U.S. military in the decade since the 9/11 attack.
“America has been defended not by conscripts, but by citizens who chose to serve,” he said. “The sacrifices of these men and women, and of our military families, reminds us that the wages of war are great.”
Obama described the nation’s commitment to continue bringing U.S. troops home after 10 years of war.
“Our troops have been to lands unknown to many Americans a decade ago — to Kandahar and Kabul; to Mosul and Basra. But our strength is not measured in our ability to stay in these places; it comes from our commitment to leave those lands to free people and sovereign states, and our desire to move from a decade of war to a future of peace.”
Years from now when Americans reflect on 9/11, they will think that the country endured and moved forward with resolve, Obama told the audience.
“They will remember that we have overcome slavery and Civil War; bread lines and fascism; recessions and riots; and Communism and, yes, terrorism,” he said.