There is something that I must say to my people, who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of Justice: In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for Freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes or in their offices, secretaries, businessmen and women, military and Federal workers, moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror. The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, hues-huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat, but they have failed. Our country is strong. A great people has [sic] been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve. America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining. Today our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring of [sic] for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could. Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's Emergency Response plans. Our military's powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, DC, to help with local resuce efforts. Our first priority's to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks. The functions of our government continue without interuption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are re-opening for essential personnel tonight and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business as well. The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources of our Intelligence and Law Enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorist [sic] who committed these acts and those who harbor them. I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many World Leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance. America, and our friends and allies, join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve: for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23. 'Even though I walk through the valley of shadow of Death, I fear no evil for You are with me.' This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down any-enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day, yet we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world. Thank you. Good night and God Bless America. (September 11, 2001)
So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American Dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.' (applause) I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former of former slave owners will they be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! (applause) I have a dream that one day down in Alabama with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification, one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today! (applause) I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places would be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight and glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. This is our hope and this is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together knowing that we will be free one day.