George W. Bush, Kamala Harris point to unity after 9/11 in memorial speeches
The chimes of the Bells of Remembrance at the memorial service for the victims in Shanksville, PA was followed Saturday by speech from George W. Bush.
The chimes of the Bells of Remembrance at the memorial service for the victims and heroes of Flight 93 in Shanksville, PA, was followed Saturday by a thunderous speech on a divided nation from former President George W. Bush.
“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own,” Bush said.
“[Malignant forces seem] at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures,” the 43rd president said. “So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together.”
In an apparent reference to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection as well as the 9/11 hijackers, the former president offered a warning:
“We have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within,” Bush said. “There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols — they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them.
“I come without explanations or solutions,” he continued. “I can only tell you what I’ve seen. On America’s day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab for a neighbor’s hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know.
“Twenty years ago, terrorists chose a random group of Americans on a routine flight to be collateral damage in a spectacular act of terror. The 33 passengers and seven crew of Flight 93 could have been any group of citizens selected by fate. In a sense, they stood in for us all. The terrorists soon discovered that a random group of Americans is an exceptional group of people.
“This is not mere nostalgia,” Bush insisted. “It is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been and what we can be again.