Six months after terrorists struck the United States, President Bush called on the nations of the world to stand together and wipe out the international terrorist network. Mr. Bush spoke at a White House ceremony attended by the families of 300 of those killed on September 11.
It was a time for remembrance, a day to honor the dead and to look to the future. "September the 11th was not the beginning of global terror. But it was the beginning of the world's concerted response," the president said.
The flags of more than 100 coalition countries flew on the White House lawn on this cool morning in late winter. The families of victims of the terrorist attacks filled row after row of white chairs. The president spoke to them, and to a broader audience around the world. "The terror that targeted New York and Washington could next strike any center of civilization. Against such an enemy, there is no immunity. And there can be no neutrality," he said.
Mr. Bush said the anti-terrorism coalition has shared victories and casualties. He said the Afghan people have been liberated from terrorist occupation, but that much more patience and courage will be required as the war on terrorism moves into its next phase.
"Every terrorist must be made to live as an international fugitive with no place to settle or organize, no place to hide, no governments to hide behind and not even a safe place to sleep," President Bush said.
The president said victory will come over time. He said American troops will not fight every battle, but will help prepare other nations - such as Yemen, Georgia and the Philippines - that want to take on terrorist elements. "This mission will end when the work is finished, when terror networks of global reach have been defeated. The havens and training camps of terror are a threat to our lives and to our way of life and they will be destroyed," Mr. Bush said.
President Bush also talked about the threat posed to all nations when countries that support terrorism seek weapons of mass destruction. But unlike his State of the Union address to congress, Mr. Bush did not speak about an "axis of evil" and did not mention any country by name.
He chose his words carefully so as not to raise concerns that America could move unilaterally. The president said every civilized nation has a stake in this fight, and inaction is not an option. "Men with no respect for life must never be allowed to control the ultimate instruments of death," Mr. Bush said.
President Bush said America is resolved to win this fight because it remembers the horrors and heroics of September 11. He said together with its coalition partners, the United States will face the peril of the moment and the promise of our times.