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Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The President's Speech

Yesterday evening, Senate President John Valentine offered the following remarks to those participating in the Freedom Walk at Liberty Park:
September 11, 2006

Today, as we remember 9/11, we should remember this has happened before.

On December 7, 1941, a hostile nation launched a surprise attack on American soil. The attack was deliberately planned and violently executed by men who hated our nation and feared our abilities.

America reacted . . . like Americans.

We united around our leaders and our soldiers. We pulled together as a nation. We fought the enemy for as long as they considered themselves our enemies. And we won the war.

Then we won the peace.

And we will do it again.

We will pull together as a nation. We will beat them without becoming them. We will protect our land without discarding that which makes it worth protecting.

We will win when winning means something much more difficult than killing our enemies. Winning means transforming their societies by giving them the best we have to offer: the gifts of political freedom and the gifts of opportunity. Winning sometimes means the heartbreaking sacrifice of our best and most promising young soldiers.

America is facing a historic trial, and challenge . . . and we will face it, like always,

Like Americans.

May we be great without being arrogant.

May we be worthy of praise without being destroyed by our pride.

Rudyard Kipling asked (and reminds all of us):
Judge of the Nations, spare us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

If, drunk with sight of power, we loose
Wild tongues that have not Thee in awe--
Such boasting as the Gentiles use
Or [other kin] without the law--
Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
Lest we forget - lest we forget!

For heathen heart that puts her trust
In reeking tube and iron shard--
All valiant dust that builds on dust,
And guarding, calls not Thee to guard--
For frantic boast and foolish word,
Thy mercy on Thy people, Lord!
May we always remember WHAT has made this nation great, WHO has made this nation great, and IF we are great . . . for what purpose?

I echo - and believe - today what Franklin D. Roosevelt believed when he spoke to Congress on December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor:
"With confidence in our armed forces -- with the unbounded determination of our people -- we will gain the inevitable triumph -- so help us God."


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