George W. Bush warns against domestic extremism in 9/11 anniversary speech near Shanksville

George W. Bush warns against domestic extremism in 9/11 anniversary speech near Shanksville

Former President George W. Bush on Saturday celebrated the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Flight 93 National Memorial in Pennsylvania, recalling a time of American unity and drawing a sharp contrast with the nation’s current divisions of politics.

Mr Bush, who was joined by former First Lady, Laura Bush, was in his first year as president when the attacks took place.

“For those too young to remember that clear day in September, it is hard to describe the mix of emotions we experienced,” Bush said at a ceremony at the memorial. “There was horror at the scale of the destruction, and awe at the bravery and kindness that arose to meet him. There was a stroke of gratitude for the audacity of evil and the valor and decency that opposed it. “

He added that “the actions of the enemy revealed the spirit of the people, and we were proud of our wounded nation.”

Recalling how the American people responded to the September 11 attacks, Mr. Bush painted a completely different picture than the bitter politics of the present day.

“In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead a wonderful, resilient, united people,” he said, although many Muslim Americans reported facing increased discrimination in the wake of the attacks. . “When it comes to America’s unity, those days seem far from our own.”

He continued: “There is a deadly force at work in our ordinary lives that turns every disagreement into an argument and every argument into a clash of cultures. So much of our politics has become the naked appeal of anger, fear and resentment. It makes us worry about our nation and our future.”

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“I come without explanation or solution,” said Mr. Bush. “I can only tell you what I’ve seen. In America’s day of trial and sorrow, I watched millions instinctively hold a neighbor’s hand and rally for each other. This is the America I am.” I know.”

President Donald J. Eight months after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol, Mr Bush warned against domestic extremism, saying that “threats to our country can come not only from across borders but also from violence.”

“There is very little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” he continued. “But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to desecrate national symbols, they are children of the same dishonesty, and it is our constant duty to confront them.”

In his remarks, Mr Bush paid tribute to the passengers and crew members of Flight 93, which crashed into a field after fighting back against the hijackers and were diverted from their intended target. “Many who are now alive owe a vast, unrealized indebtedness to the defiance displayed in the skies above this region,” he said.

In the wake of the September 11 attacks, Mr. Bush led the nation in the war in Afghanistan and later in the war in Iraq. Speaking less than two weeks after the last US troops left Afghanistan, he acknowledged in his remarks that military actions over the past two decades have “led the debate.”

He offered a message to the veterans, stating that they were “a force for good in the world” and that “nothing has happened, nothing, can tarnish your honor or yours.” can reduce achievements.

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