President Bush's address to Congress was more than a speech to lawmakers on Capitol Hill. It was also a chance for him to outline for the American people the country's response to the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
While Mr. Bush spoke in Washington, about 100 people were watching at Benedictine University a small school in the Chicago suburb of Lisle. They had come for a community discussion about last week's attacks in New York and Washington. Some had doubts about U.S. plans for a military campaign against terrorists doubts that lingered after the president spoke. Andre Clay is a student at the university. "I do leave with some concerns, still, about the situation," he said. "I do not think that war is necessarily the answer."
He says he understands that the world needs to be rid of terrorists, but says he is not sure that bloodshed is the way to do it. Others who support that view say the country should try diplomacy and the courts before resorting to force.
Others say using military might against terrorists might be the only way to defeat them, and that acting now could prevent more serious attacks in the future. Charlie Gregory says Mr. Bush was specific in explaining the country's plans and goals, and he feels better after hearing the speech. "I think I go away with a feeling of a little bit more security," he said. "I think the one thing we lost with the tragedy was a sense of security, that anyone now can come in our own backyard, so to speak. We have never seen that as a country. We have seen tidbits of it, but nothing to this extreme. I think I leave tonight feeling like, we are okay."
Regardless of their position on the matter, nearly everyone in the room applauded at the end of the president's speech. In a discussion afterward, one man expressed hope that public support for the president's campaign continues to be high a few months or years from now. He said Americans like to have things done quickly, and a fight against terrorism will take time.