W A S H I N G T O N, Sept. 11, 2001 -- Following is a transcript of President Bush's televised address to the nation following terrorist strikes in New York and Washington.
Good evening.Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedomcame under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts.The victims were in airplanes or in their offices. Secretaries,business men and women, military and federal workers. Moms and dads.Friends and neighbors.
Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable actsof terror.
The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning,huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terriblesadness and a quiet, unyielding anger.
These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nationinto chaos and retreat. But they have failed. Our country is strong.A great people has been moved to defend a great nation.
Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggestbuildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. Theseacts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of Americanresolve.
America was targeted for attack because we're the brightestbeacon for freedom and opportunity in the world.
And no one will keep that light from shining.
Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature, andwe responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescueworkers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to giveblood and help in any way they could.
Immediately following the first attack, I implemented ourgovernment's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, andit's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City andWashington, D.C., to help with local rescue efforts.
Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injuredand to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home andaround the world from further attacks.
The functions of our government continue without interruption.Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today arereopening for essential personnel tonight and will be open forbusiness tomorrow.
Our financial institutions remain strong, and the Americaneconomy will be open for business as well.
The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts.
I've directed the full resources for our intelligence and lawenforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them tojustice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists whocommitted these acts and those who harbor them.
I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who havejoined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of theAmerican people, I thank the many world leaders who have called tooffer their condolences and assistance.
America and our friends and allies join with all those who wantpeace and security in the world and we stand together to win the waragainst terrorism.
Tonight I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for thechildren whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense ofsafety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will becomforted by a power greater than any of us spoken through the ages inPsalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow ofdeath, I fear no evil for you are with me."
This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite inour resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemiesbefore, and we will do so this time.
None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defendfreedom and all that is good and just in our world.
Thank you. Good night and God bless America.