President Bush marked the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington with prayer services and a moment of silence at the White House. The president says the fight against terrorism continues.
The president and Mrs. Bush attended a morning service of prayer and remembrance at St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House. Reverend Luis Leon told the congregation that hatred is not the answer to the pain caused by the terrorist attacks and urged Americans to pray for those who mean to do them harm.
The president and Mrs. Bush led several hundred White House staff and Congressional leaders in a moment of silence on the South Lawn at 8:46 a.m., the time American Airlines Flight 11 slammed in to the north tower of the World Trade Center three years ago.
Joined by family members of some of those killed in the attacks, President Bush delivered his weekly radio address live from the Oval Office.
"The terrorist attacks on September the 11th were a turning point for our nation," he said. "We saw the goals of a determined enemy to expand the scale of their murder and force America to retreat from the world. And our nation accepted a mission: we will defeat this enemy."
In comments that were also broadcast live on some television stations, President Bush said the nation is determined to guard against another terrorist attack. While Mr. Bush says Americans are safer than they were three years ago, he says they are not yet safe. So the president says he is working with Congress to reform U.S. intelligence gathering with a single director overseeing all operations.
"The United States is determined to stay on the offensive and to pursue the terrorists wherever they train or sleep or attempt to set down roots," he said. "We have conducted this campaign from the mountains of Afghanistan to the heart of the Middle East to the Horn of Africa to the islands of the Philippines to hidden cells within our own country."
President Bush says the nation's resolve is still being tested as the fight against terrorism goes on.
"Three years after the attack on our country, Americans remain strong and resolute, patient in a just cause, and confident of the victory to come," continued president Bush.
The president says the United States is also determined to advance democracy in the broader Middle East because he says freedom will bring peace and security.
"When the peoples of that region are given new hope and lives of dignity, they will let go of old hatreds and resentments, and the terrorists will find fewer recruits," he said. "And as governments of that region join in the fight against terror instead of harboring terrorists, America and the world will be more secure."
Mr. and Mrs. Bush spend the rest of the weekend at the presidential retreat at Camp David before returning to the campaign trail in the coming week with rallies on Monday and Tuesday in the states of Michigan, Colorado, and Nevada.