President, Pentagon employees memorialize attack victims

President Bush joined Pentagon officials Thursday in a ceremony honoring victims of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Nearly 200 people were killed when a plane crashed into the Pentagon and rendered about one-third of the building unusable.. It took rescue personnel nearly two days to extinguish the fires that engulfed the wreckage. Describing the victims as heroes, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tried to assuage the grief felt by the gathering of families, friends and colleagues. "They died because, in the words of justification offered by their attackers, they were Americans," Rumsfeld said. "They died then because of how they lived as free men and women, proud of their freedom, proud of their country and proud of their country's cause, the cause of human freedom." The President expanded on that theme in his keynote address, stressing that the sorrow caused by the attacks has since turned into a great resolve. "Today, we are a nation awakened to the evils of terrorism and determined to destroy [it], but to all of you who lost someone here I want to say, you are not alone," Bush told the mourners. "The American people will never forget the cruelty that was done here and in New York and in the sky over Pennsylvania." Bush also reassured the mourners, empathizing with their loss and reminding them that the nation shared in their sadness and that the injuries inflicted on the Pentagon would be healed. "The wound to this building will not be forgotten, but it will be repaired. Brick by brick, we will quickly rebuild the Pentagon," he said. On Sunday, the Bush administration launched a military campaign against Afghanistan's ruling Taliban forces, which have long supported the al Qaeda terrorist network believed to be responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. "We gave that regime a choice, turn over the terrorist or face your ruin. They chose unwisely," Bush said. "Our cause is just and worthy of sacrifice. Our nation is strong of heart and firm of purpose inspired by all the courage that has come before. We will meet our moment, and we will prevail."
Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.