Monday marks the somber anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks; three days after the horrific attacks then-President Bush gave an iconic speech at Ground Zero signaling that America was united and ready to annihilate the terrorist organization that attacked the country.
The day was September 14. America was still reeling in disbelief from the horror of the Twin Towers being reduced to ashes from al-Qaeda terrorists hijacking and crashing airplanes into them. Bush was initially wary regarding how to respond to the attacks.
But on September 14, he gave the perfect response as he stood atop the rubble of the Twin Towers with his arm around a firefighter named Bob Beckwith.
"I want you all to know that American today, American today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn," Bush said to the Ground Zero rescue workers surrounding him through a bullhorn. "The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens..."
One of the rescue workers then shouted to Bush, "I can't hear you!"
"I can hear you!" Bush responded, and then proceeded to utter the spine-tingling, defiant words that defined America's response to 9/11.
"I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you!" Bush declared. "And the people – and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!"
The rescue workers roared with cheers and started chanting "USA! USA! USA!"
U.S. News and World Report contributor Kenneth Walsh wrote that the bullhorn speech "captured the mood of the country, delivering just what the American people wanted a combination of gratitude for the rescue workers' bravery and diligence, defiance toward the terrorists, and resolve to bring the evil doers to justice."
So on this somber anniversary, let us all take the time to remember and honor the memory of those that lost their lives in the terror attacks, and let us all remember America's united and defiant response as capsulized by Bush's bullhorn speech.
Watch the whole speech below:
H/T: American Rhetoric