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The President's Weekly Address

September 10, 2011

This weekend, we're coming together as one Nation to mark the 10th anniversary of the September 11 attacks. We're remembering the lives we lost: nearly 3,000 innocent men, women, and children. We're reaffirming our commitment to always keep faith with their families. We're honoring the heroism of first-responders who risked their lives--and gave their lives--to save others. And we're giving thanks to all who serve on our behalf, especially our troops and military families, our extraordinary 9/11 generation.

At the same time, even as we reflect on a difficult decade, we must look forward to the future we will build together. That includes staying strong and confident in the face of any threat. And thanks to the tireless efforts of our military personnel and our intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security professionals, there should be no doubt: Today America is stronger, and Al Qaida is on the path to defeat.

We've taken the fight to Al Qaida like never before. Over the past 2½ years, more senior Al Qaida leaders have been eliminated than at any time since 9/11. And thanks to the remarkable courage and precision of our forces, we finally delivered justice to Usama bin Laden.

We've strengthened the partnerships and tools we need to prevail in this war against Al Qaida, working closer with allies and partners, reforming intelligence to better detect and disrupt plots, investing in our special forces so terrorists have no safe haven.

We're constantly working to improve the security of our homeland as well, at our airports, ports, and borders; enhancing aviation security and screening; increasing support for our first-responders; and working closer than ever with States, cities, and communities.

A decade after 9/11, it's clear for all the world to see, the terrorists who attacked us that September morning are no match for the character of our people, the resilience of our Nation, or the endurance of our values.

They wanted to terrorize us, but as Americans, we refuse to live in fear. Yes, we face a determined foe, and make no mistake: They will keep trying to hit us again. But as we're showing again this weekend, we remain vigilant. We're doing everything in our power to protect our people. And no matter what comes our way, as a resilient nation, we will carry on.

They wanted to draw us into endless wars, sapping our strength and confidence as a nation. But even as we put relentless pressure on Al Qaida, we're ending the war in Iraq and beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Because after a hard decade of war, it is time for nation-building here at home.

They wanted to deprive us of the unity that defines us as a people. But we will not succumb to division or suspicion. We are Americans, and we are stronger and safer when we stay true to the values, freedoms, and diversity that makes us unique among nations.

And they wanted to undermine our place in the world. But a decade later, we've shown that America doesn't hunker down and hide behind walls of mistrust. We've forged new partnerships with nations around the world to meet the global challenges that no nation can face alone. And across the Middle East and North Africa, a new generation of citizens is showing that the future belongs to those that want to build, not destroy.

Ten years ago, ordinary Americans showed us the true meaning of courage when they rushed up those stairwells, into those flames, into that cockpit. In the decade since, a new generation has stepped forward to serve and keep us safe. In their memory, in their name, we will never waver. We will protect the country we love and pass it safer, stronger, and more prosperous to the next generation.

Note: The address was recorded at approximately 2 p.m. on September 9 in the Library at the White House for broadcast on September 10. The transcript was made available by the Office of the Press Secretary on September 9, but was embargoed for release until 6 a.m. on September 10.

Barack Obama, The President's Weekly Address Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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