President's Weekly Address: A Day That Tested Our Country
In the morning the President will deliver remarks and participate in a wreath laying ceremony at the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington to mark the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.
The First Lady will be the keynote speaker at the memorial ceremony in honor of the passengers and crew of United Flight 93 in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, along with Mrs. Laura Bush. The event is being hosted by the National Park Foundation. Also tomorrow, the First Lady will participate in a Day of Service event in McLean, Virginia where she will accompany Mission Serve, the jointly run civilian-military initiative that she and Dr. Jill Biden helped launch last Veterans Day.
President Obama made the following remarks today at the White House during a press conference about the September 11th attacks and also addressed the new attack against Muslims and Islam.
"I think that at a time when the country is anxious generally and going through a tough time, then fears can surface, suspicions, divisions can surface in a society. And so I think that plays a role in it.
One of the things that I most admired about President Bush was after 9/11, him being crystal-clear about the fact that we were not at war with Islam. We were at war with terrorists and murderers who had perverted Islam, had stolen its banner to carry out their outrageous acts. And I was so proud of the country rallying around that idea, that notion that we are not going to be divided by religion; we’re not going to be divided by ethnicity. We are all Americans. We stand together against those who would try to do us harm.
And that’s what we’ve done over the last nine years. And we should take great pride in that. And I think it is absolutely important now for the overwhelming majority of the American people to hang on to that thing that is best in us, a belief in religious tolerance, clarity about who our enemies are -- our enemies are al Qaeda and their allies who are trying to kill us, but have killed more Muslims than just about anybody on Earth. We have to make sure that we don't start turning on each other.
And I will do everything that I can as long as I am President of the United States to remind the American people that we are one nation under God, and we may call that God different names but we remain one nation. And as somebody who relies heavily on my Christian faith in my job, I understand the passions that religious faith can raise. But I’m also respectful that people of different faiths can practice their religion, even if they don't subscribe to the exact same notions that I do, and that they are still good people, and they are my neighbors and they are my friends, and they are fighting alongside us in our battles.
And I want to make sure that this country retains that sense of purpose. And I think tomorrow is a wonderful day for us to remind ourselves of that."
The Vice President and Dr. Biden helped honored September 11th heroes at New York City’s Commemorative Ceremony at Zuccotti Park.
I Wish You Were Here: Local Artist Sings Tribute Song For Those Lost in 9/11. (Listen: Track 8)
Michelle Obama: Always a Girl of Service?