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Bush Thanks Canadians for Support After 9/11

President Bush says memories of the September 11, 2001 attacks on America provide constant proof of the need for the international community to come together to fight terrorism and rebuild Iraq.

The president went to an Atlantic Coast pier that is revered in Canada as the nation's historic gateway to the world.

About one million immigrants passed through Pier 21 before it closed as an entry checkpoint in 1971. And it was there that President Bush spoke of the way Canadians embraced travelers stranded when American airports were closed and flights diverted on September 11, 2001.

"So let me say directly to the Canadian people and to all of you here today who welcomed Americans, thank you for your kindness to America in an hour of need," said Mr. Bush.

He said Americans and Canadians are one family, a family that sometimes disagrees but ultimately stands together.

"The affection that appeared in an instant will always be there and it runs deep," said President Bush. "Beyond the words of politicians and the natural disagreements that nations will have, our two peoples are one family and always will be."

The president spoke of the long history of hemispheric peace, and the joint determination to deal with challenges abroad.

"We know it is not possible to live in quiet isolation on our peaceful continent, hoping the problems and challenges of other nations will pass us by," he said. "We know there can be no security and no lasting peace in a world where proliferation and terrorism and genocide and extreme poverty go unopposed."

Mr. Bush said he wants that cooperation to expand to other nations, banding together to achieve great goals.

He stressed the importance of strengthening multinational institutions and fighting an effective war on terrorism. But he added that as the world takes on the terrorists, it must also foster freedom throughout the greater Middle East.

The president emphasized bringing democracy to Iraq is an important step in achieving that goal. He acknowledged there were differences of opinion on the wisdom of invading Iraq, but emphasized there is agreement on the need to help Iraqis build a democracy.

"Sometimes even the closest of friends disagree and two years ago we disagreed about the best course of action in Iraq. Yet, as your prime minister made clear in Washington earlier this year, there is no disagreement at all with what has to be done with going forward," said Mr. Bush.

President Bush said democracy is the key to a better future for the entire region, emphasizing a democratic government for Palestinians is a pre-requisite for peace with Israel. He said only with democracy and the rule of law, can the dream of a Palestinian state become a reality.