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DeWerk's Sept. 11 observance speech: America not as united
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Friday marked the ninth year since Islamic terrorists struck at two of this nation's most visible symbols of strength. They attacked our nation's military headquarters because we had the strongest and most powerful national defense system in the world, and they destroyed the twin towers in New York City because they symbolized our economic strength here at home and abroad.

Although these attacks stunned us, they revealed that we had, as a nation, developed a sense of complacency about our homeland security - but we were not weakened and the attackers were not victorious! If anything, the attacks caused the people of this nation to react with strength and determination; not only to recover from the destruction in New York City and at the Pentagon, but to pull together as one, ready to fight for this nation both physically and for what we stand for.

Indeed, in the years that have followed, innumerable terrorist attacks have been thwarted by fighting terrorists abroad, by eliminating threats as they arose and through aggressive intelligence gathering.

We showed no signs of weakness. If we, as a nation, ever felt a sense of insecurity in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, those feelings passed quickly. The people of this nation rose up to become stronger than ever. I believe that being attacked only makes us stronger, it intensifies our sense of purpose, and it builds upon our commitment to our nation.

But it is human nature to relax as the intensity of a traumatic experience fades with the passage of time. Eventually a state of complacency can set in. It is common to lose focus and the sense of purpose when threats diminish and seem far away. At the same time, national unity and our sense of patriotism erodes. We are now a nation polarized and plagued with political infighting. Some are even willing to blame ourselves and to rationalize and make excuses for those who attacked us. We are forming a false sense of security, believing that as we attempt to patronize the enemy, that it will stop trying to harm this nation.

We are not, at this time, the same nation of strength and determination as we were during the several years following the 9/11 attacks.

Being in a state of disunity is not what we are about. Cowering to a brutal enemy that is bent on destroying us is not what we are about. We are a democracy that is destined to survive through the sheer will and commitment of its people. The thousands of people killed on 9/11 and the countless others injured represent one of the greatest losses and insults to this country, and these losses should never be allowed to fade from the forefront of the American conscious. And as we remember our losses today, we must redirect ourselves back on a track towards national solvency and resolve to return to a unified and focused America; one that is the greatest land on earth, comprised of people who care about each other and who stand ready to assist others around the world during their times of crisis and need.

We should be infinitely grateful to our soldiers, police and firefighters, for every day, they put their lives on the line for those who they serve. Indeed, they all too often make the ultimate sacrifice with the loss of their lives.

The soldiers, firefighters and police of this country are not impervious to attacks, but their spirit and commitment to protect our citizens is indestructible.

This country is unmatched in its greatness and integrity; it stands for good and was founded under the guiding hand of God. As always, we will prevail through these trying times and become the better for it. May God bless all of you and may God bless this country.