Thursday September 27 1:43 PM ET
Text of Bush Security Speech
By The Associated Press,
Text of President Bush (news
sites)'s remarks Thursday to airline employees at Chicago's
O'Hare International Airport, as transcribed by eMediaMillWorks
Thank you all.
Thank you all very much. Thank you all very much for such a
I first want to thank Craig and Michelle for their love and
compassion for their friends and for being such great
representatives of an incredibly important industry for
I want to thank all of the airline employees who are here
from all of the airlines around America. I want to thank you for
your dedication, for your concern and for being such great
patriots for this great country.
Besides you all, I'm keeping pretty good company today.
First, I'm pleased to introduce the secretary of transportation,
Norm Mineta. I want you to know that Norm took a United flight.
And he said the flight was just perfect.
I appreciate Norm's hard work and concern about our mutual
goal, and that's to get the airplanes flying again all across
I'm proud to be on the stage with your governor and with his
honor, the mayor.
The mayor said he's going to buy me lunch today.
I like my cheeseburger medium.
I appreciate so very much Jane Garvey from the FAA (news
sites) being here. Thank you for coming.
I'm really proud of the attitude in Washington, D.C., right
now. Traveling with me today were Republicans and Democrats. But
make no mistake about it, they're first and foremost patriot
The state of Illinois has produced a good man and a good
speaker, and that's Denny Hastert.
Thank you, Denny for being here.
Also traveling is Minority Leader Dick Gephardt. Dick has
been a joy to work with as we do what's right for America.
I appreciate Sen. Dick Durbin for being with us today. And I
want to thank you for coming, Dick.
Henry Hyde, of the great state of Illinois; Mark Kirk, of
Illinois; Jerry Weller, of Illinois.
We've got quite a crowd traveling today.
All of whom are here to say as clearly as we can to the
American public: ``Get on the airlines, get about the business
That's got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
I want to thank not only the employees, the people that make
the airlines go, but I want to thank the chief executive
officers from American Airlines and United Airlines as well as
old Herb Kelleher from Southwest Airlines. Jim Goodwin and Don
Cardy , George Michaelson from America TransAir is here as well.
Thank you all for coming, and thank all of your employees for
I know this will make Representative Gephardt feel good.
There's a lot of folks from TWA here.
So honored to be here.
I think it's interesting that on one side we see American, on
the other side it says United.
Because that's what we are. America is united.
We are united. We are united in bringing justice to those
folks who did the evil deed on Sept. 11.
We're not only united, we're determined. We're determined to
find those terrorists who tried to affect our way of life. We're
determined to find them and to bring them to justice, and we
But our determination goes beyond the immediate in the short
term. This is a nation that's determined to defend freedom from
any terrorists, any place in the world.
This is a determined nation, and we're a strong nation. We're
a nation based upon fabulous values. We're also a nation that is
adjusting to a new type of war. This isn't a conventional war
that we're waging. Ours is a campaign that will have to reflect
the new enemy. There's no longer islands to conquer or
beachheads to storm. We face a brand of evil the likes of which
we haven't seen in a long time in the world.
These are people who strike and hide; people who know no
borders; people who depend upon others. And make no mistake
about it, the new war is not only against the evildoers
themselves. The new war is against those who harbor them and
finance them and feed them.
We will need patience and determination in order to succeed.
We must understand that sometimes we will see our resources
deployed and sometimes we won't. But we will use every resource
at our disposal. We will use the military might of the United
States. We will use our intelligence-gathering capacity of the
United States. We will use every diplomatic means of the United
States. We will disrupt their financial networks. We will do
everything we can to achieve our objective, which is to rout out
and destroy global terrorism.
Americans understand we fight not a religion.
Ours is not a campaign against the Muslim faith. Ours is a
campaign against evil.
And there is a broad coalition of nations that understand
what's at stake, that have come rallying to our side. And I want
to thank the nations of the world that have stood side by side
with our country to defend freedom.
It's heartening to know that we stand not alone in the world.
It's a coalition that will require different efforts from
different countries. Some countries may want to participate in
one way but not in another. All we ask is that you participate.
All we ask is that you use the same amount of effort the United
States will to win this war against freedom, to win this battle
against global terrorism.
This coalition will exist to achieve the mission, and I can
assure you, our mission will not change to fit any coalitions.
America will stand strong. Others will tire and weary. I
understand that, but not our nation.
Others will second guess, but not our nation. Others will
become impatient, but not this great nation. We will stand firm
and stand strong until we have achieved our mission.
We hope everybody follows, but we're marching on. We're
marching on to do what's right.
This great nation will not only deploy resources overseas,
but we will work at home as well to fight terrorism and to win
I had the honor of announcing an office of homeland security
the other night in front of Congress. My good friend, the
governor of Pennsylvania, has agreed to leave his office early
to serve the nation, to coordinate activities to make sure that
anybody who wants to harm America will have a hard time doing
so, to make sure that we're as strong at home as we are abroad,
to make sure our resources are deployed affectively.
We have thousands of FBI (news
sites) agents working today to chase down any lead, to look
at any hint, to make sure America is as secure as can possibly
And we must stand against terror by going back to work -
everybody here who showed up for work - that this important
industry is making a clear statement, that terrorism will not
stand, that the evildoers will not be able to terrorize America
and our work force and our people.
America understands - America understands that these have
been incredibly tense days for the people who work in airline
industry, difficult times for stewardesses and captains and
baggage handlers and people who run the desks. America knows
that, and we appreciate.
We appreciate your steadfast willingness to fight terror on
your own. You stand against terror by flying the airplanes and
by maintaining them. You stand against terror by loading a bag
or serving a passenger.
And by doing so, you're expressing a firm national commitment
that's so important, that we will not surrender our freedom to
travel, that we will not surrender our freedoms in America, that
while you may think you have struck our soul, you haven't
touched it, that we are too strong a nation to be carried down
by terrorist activity.
When they struck, they wanted to create an atmosphere of
fear. And one of the great goals of this nation's war is to
restore public confidence in the airline industry, is to tell
the traveling public: ``Get on board. Do your business around
the country. Fly and enjoy America's great destination spots. Go
down to Disney World in Florida, take your families and enjoy
life the way we want it to be enjoyed.''
And we've got a role. The government's got a role, not only
do you have a role to play which you're playing in such fine
fashion, but the government has a role to play as well. We've
got a significant responsibility to deal with this emergency in
a strong and bold way, and we are doing so.
The first action we took was when Republicans and Democrats
alike came together and put together a package to provide
stability for the airline industry.
It was the first part of an economic recovery package. We
understand, when we get our airlines up and running, it's going
to affect so much of our economy. And so we jointly approved $15
billion of moneys available to provide not only relief for
airlines, but loan guarantees to airlines; to make sure our
airlines are strong and healthy in the aftermath of this
And I want to thank the speaker and Leader Gephardt for
taking the lead. They showed folks that Washington can work in
concert and in a constructive way. But there's more to do. We
must address the issue of airline safety in a constructive,
smart way. For the sake of every passenger, every crew member
and every pilot, we are going to make our airline security
stronger and more reliable.
Last week, I reserved $3 billion in funding to achieve this
And today, I want to outline some of our plans to do just
that. First, I will work with Congress to put the federal
government in charge of passenger and bag screening and all
We will make our standards tougher and better and consistent
all around the country.
I understand it takes time for legislation to work through
the halls of Congress. And you need to understand that, too. And
so, to make sure we improve security right now, the federal
government will pay for governors to call up National Guard and
place guardsmen at inspection stations in airports.
Some airports already meet high standards, and you all know
that. But for those airports that need help, we will work with
the governors to provide security measures, visible security
measures so the traveling public will know that we are serious
about airline safety in America.
Secondly, we are going to dramatically increase the number of
federal air marshals on our airplanes.
When Americans fly, there need to be more highly skilled and
fully equipped officers of law flying alongside them. Now, these
marshals of course will wear plain clothes. They're going to be
like any other passenger, but Americans will know that there are
more of them, and our crews will now there are more of them. And
the terrorists will know there are more of them.
And third, we will set aside $500 million in new funding for
aircraft security. Grants will go to airlines for enhanced
cockpit protection. We look forward to working with the pilots
and airlines to fortify doors and provide stronger locks so our
pilots will always be in command of the airplanes.
We will invest in new technology for aircraft security, with
grants to develop transponders that cannot be switched off from
the cockpit; video monitors in the cockpit to alert pilots to
trouble in the cabin.
And we will look at all kinds of technologies to make sure
that our airlines are safe, and
for example including technology to enable controllers to take
over distressed aircraft and land it by remote control.
With all these actions, we're returning airlines back to the
American people. We're making a strong statement that together
the government and the private sector will make flying a way of
life again in America. The American people must know that my
administration is confident. Tomorrow, nine Cabinet members will
board U.S. airlines to fly around our country to do their jobs.
And so will thousands of other citizens from all walks of
life will board aircraft. And these are good things for our
nation, because this nation will not live in fear. We have
awakened to a new danger, but our resolve is great and the
spirit of America is incredibly strong.
(AUDIENCE): USA, USA, USA ...
BUSH: The attacks on America were intended to break our
spirit, but the evildoers failed. It's a fabulous land, we're
lucky to live in it. It's a land ...
They have stirred a mighty nation to action. And the world is
seeing what we're made out of. The world sees our resolve and is
willing to follow. The world sees our commitment to freedom and
is impressed. The world sees our compassion toward one another
as neighbor helps neighbor, as neighbor grieves with neighbor,
as people from all across our country want to hold the families
who have been endangered and been hurt in their arms. The world
sees a nation at prayer, Christian, Jew and Muslim alike,
praying for strength to an almighty and merciful God.
The world is beginning to see the best of this great land.
The world is beginning to understand why we all treasure America
so much, our values, our freedom and the strength of the
American character. No, they thought they attacked America and
hurt us. We are stronger than ever, and we will prove it to the
world. Thank you all for coming.
May God bless America.