Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Rumsfeld Makes Comments at Pentagon Ceremony

Aired September 11, 2002 - 09:51   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


AARON BROWN, CNN ANCHOR: In Washington at the Pentagon, the ceremony is moving ahead. Wolf Blitzer is there for us, not surprisingly -- Wolf.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: ... for today by U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Steve Kramer (ph) of the U.S. Army band setting the stage for the defense secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, who will speak right now.

DONALD RUMSFELD, SECRETARY OF DEFENSE: President Bush, Mrs. Bush, members of Congress and the Cabinet, distinguished foreign guests, family members, General Myers and the Pentagon family, welcome.

We're here today to honor those who died in this place and to rededicate ourselves to the cause for which they gave their lives -- the cause of human liberty. In a sense, we meet on a battlefield. If it does not appear so today, that is because of the singular devotion of the men and women who worked day and night to fulfill a solemn vow -- that not one stone of this building would be out of place on this anniversary.

We thank you for your dedication and your accomplishment.

(APPLAUSE)

But one year ago this was a battle zone, a scene of billowing smoke, towering flames, broken rock and twisted metal. It says much about our nation and the fierceness and resilience of the American people that were we not here, now, in this solemn ceremony, a visitor passing would see no hint of the terrible events that took place here but one year ago today.

But we must not forget what happened here. Dedicated men and women came here on a clear September morning to serve their country, and then, in an instant, were taken from us. We gather today to remember them, but we're here for another purpose as well, to mark that first anniversary of a day that will be remembered by history and commemorated by successive generations so long as we remain free people.

For a battle was joined on that day, a battle still unfolding between a nation of free people and forces that seek to plunge that nation, and indeed the free world, into the darkness of tyranny and terror. We assemble today to ask what has been accomplished in the name of those who died and on behalf of those who lived.

One month after the attacks, our commander in chief came here to the Pentagon to speak to us, to console us and to encourage us for the struggle still ahead.

Of the terrorists, Mr. President, you said they dwell in dark corners, with patience the terrorists will be pursued, they will be isolated, surrounded, until there's no place to run, to hide or to rest.

Well, to the men and women of the armed forces, this you are doing. In Afghanistan, you have rescued a country and liberated a people. You have rooted the terrorists out of the caves and the shadows. You are performing heroically. Know that the American people value what you do for our country.

(APPLAUSE)

In this past year, some of your comrades have given their lives in the defense of freedom, and we remember each of them today. And to their families, we offer our sympathy, and thank you for the love of country that you instilled in each of those extraordinary human beings.

And we remember in our prayers each of the allied soldiers who have fallen on the field of battle. From the first moments of this struggle, America knew she was not alone. Support came from every corner of the world.

Mr. President, the coalition you have assembled is truly remarkable. Some 90 nations, literally half of the world, have joined in this effort, the greatest military coalition ever assembled in human history.

Many coalition partners are here today.

(APPLAUSE)

And we say to you, "Thank you for standing with us."

(APPLAUSE)

And please extend our gratitude to your fellow citizens. Tell them how much we value their friendship and their steadfastness.

In the past year, we've been awakened to our vulnerabilities. Made conscious of the danger we face in this new century. That awakening came at a terrible price. But the terrorists aspire to even greater destruction. Unless they are stopped, the light of history will fade from this day, turning its gaze instead to subsequent days when not thousands, but tens of thousands of lives could be lost.

The road ahead is long. But while we have not yet achieved victory, we know in one important sense that the terrorists who attacked us have already been defeated. They were defeated before the first shot was fired in Afghanistan. They were defeated because they failed utterly to achieve their objectives.

The terrorist wanted September 11 to be a day when innocence died, instead it was a day when heroes were born. There terrorist wanted September 11 to be a day when hatred reined, instead...

(INTERRUPTED BY LIVE EVENT)

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top