September 12, 2001
5:53 P.M. EDT
I am so grateful to the people who are working here. We're here to say thanks
to not only the workers on this site, but the workers who are doing the same
work in New York City. I want to say thanks to the folks who have given blood
to the Red Cross. I want to say thanks for the hundreds of thousands of Americans
who pray for the victims and their families.
Secretary Rumsfeld told me, when I talked to him, that he felt the blast shake
the Pentagon -- even though he was on the other side of the building, the building
rocked. And now I know why.
Coming here makes me sad, on the one hand; it also makes me angry. Our country
will, however, not be cowed by terrorists, by people who don't share the same
values we share, by people who are willing to destroy people's lives because
we embrace freedom. The nation mourns, but our government will go on, the country
will function. We are on high alert for possible activity.
But coming here confirms what the Secretary and I both know, that this is a
great nation. People here working hard prove it; people out here working their
hearts out to answer families' questions, to remove the rubble and debris from
this office. I want to thank everybody not only on this site, but all across
America, for responding so generously, so kindly, in their prayers, in their
contributions of love and their willingness to help in any way they can.