With a somber expression and reassuring voice, President Bush addressed the country about the tremendous tragedy that currently grips our nation.
“Terrorists’ attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America,” Bush said.
Bush also stated the purpose of the attacks was to intimidate U.S. citizens and the government.
“These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat,” Bush said. “But they have failed.”
The speech was intended to calm and reassure the American people; however, it contained few specifics about the course of action the government will take in the aftermath of this act of terrorism.
“The speech was not as bombastic as it might have been, and it didn’t look at military responses,” said UW political science professor Charles Franklin.
Although most of the speech was intended to reassure the citizens, there was one part that stood out in stating the government’s policy regarding the acts of terrorism.
“The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources for our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and bring them to justice,” Bush said. “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”
This was the only section of the speech that referred to any policy that the government would take, and was the only substantive part of the speech, Franklin said.
UW political science professor Donald Downs reiterated Franklin’s statements, and said that it is most important to find out who was responsible.
Franklin believed that Bush’s statement was adequate, despite the lack of a specific statement about the policy of the U.S. in this particular situation.
“I think in the immediate aftermath it was probably a perfectly good speech,” Franklin said.
Bush ended the speech saying that we have overcome trials in the past and this time will be no different.
“This is a day when Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace,” Bush said. “America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time.”