President Obama memorialized the 15th anniversary of the tragic attacks on 9/11 with unifying words.
The President said, “The most enduring memorial to those we lost is ensuring the America that we continue to be — that we stay true to ourselves, that we stay true to what’s best in us, that we do not let others divide us.”
Speaking at the 9/11 memorial observance ceremony at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia Sunday morning, Obama said, “We come together in prayer and in gratitude for the strength that has fortified us across these 15 years. And we renew the love and the faith that binds us together as one American family.”
Speaking to survivors and those who lost loved ones, the President said, “(I)n your grief and grace, you have reminded us that, together, there’s nothing we Americans cannot overcome.”
Obama asked, “How do we preserve the legacy of those we lost? How do we live up to their example? And how do we keep their spirit alive in our own hearts?”
“Well, we have seen the answer in a generation of Americans — our men and women in uniform, diplomats, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals — all who have stepped forward to serve and who have risked and given their lives to help keep us safe.”
“Thanks to their extraordinary service, we’ve dealt devastating blows to al Qaeda. We’ve delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. We’ve strengthened our homeland security. We’ve prevented attacks. We’ve saved lives. We resolve to continue doing everything in our power to protect this country that we love. And today, we once again pay tribute to these patriots, both military and civilian, who serve in our name, including those far away from home in Afghanistan and Iraq.”
Urging us to defend the ideals of the United States, the President said, “Perhaps most of all, we stay true to the spirit of this day by defending not only our country, but also our ideals.”
“Groups like al Qaeda, like ISIL, know that we will never be able — they will never be able to defeat a nation as great and as strong as America,” Obama explained. “So, instead, they’ve tried to terrorize in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other and that we change who we are or how we live.”
The President stressed our unity with people from allover the world of all religions and colors, “And that’s why it is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation — a people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background — bound by a creed as old as our founding, e pluribus unum. Out of many, we are one.”
“For we know that our diversity — our patchwork heritage — is not a weakness; it is still, and always will be, one of our greatest strengths. This is the America that was attacked that September morning. This is the America that we must remain true to.”
“The most enduring memorial to those we lost is ensuring the America that we continue to be — that we stay true to ourselves, that we stay true to what’s best in us, that we do not let others divide us.”
“As I mark this solemn day with you for the last time as President, I think of Americans whose stories I’ve been humbled to know these past eight years — Americans who, I believe, embody the true spirit of 9/11,” Obama continued.
The President closed saying that in choosing how we conduct ourselves as individuals and as a nation, “we have the opportunity each and every day to live up to the sacrifice of those heroes that we lost.”
Obama’s uplifting and unifying call to our highest ideals is a much needed antidote to the overdose of hate being dished out by Donald Trump.
Republicans must not listen to President Obama, because the man has spent the last 7 plus years trying to unify this country. The divider on the stage is Donald Trump, whose rhetoric is such a far cry from the above it’s enough to make us wonder how he ever got elevated to the status of the Republican presidential nominee.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.
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