George W. Bush warns of domestic extremism in 9/11 anniversary speech near Shanksville

Former President George W. Bush on Saturday commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the National Flight 93 Me...


Former President George W. Bush on Saturday commemorated the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the National Flight 93 Memorial in Pennsylvania, recalling an era of American unity and contrasting sharply with the current division in the country’s politics.

Mr Bush, who was joined by former first lady Laura Bush, was in his first year as president when the attacks took place.

“For those who are too young to remember that clear September day, it is difficult to describe the mixture of feelings we felt,” Bush said at a ceremony at the memorial. “There was horror on the scale of destruction, and awe of the bravery and kindness that rose up to face it. There was a shock at the daring of evil and the gratitude for the heroism and decency that opposed it.

He added that “the actions of an enemy revealed the spirit of a people and we were proud of our wounded nation.”

Recalling how the American people reacted to the attacks, Mr. Bush painted a radically different picture from today’s sour politics.

“In the weeks and months following the September 11 attacks, I was proud to lead an extraordinary, resilient and united people,” he said, although many Muslim Americans said they faced a increased discrimination as a result of the attacks. “When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from ours.”

He continued, “The evil force seems to be at work in our common life which turns every disagreement into an argument and every argument into a clash of cultures. Much of our politics has become a naked appeal for anger, fear and resentment. This leaves us worried about our nation and our future together. “

“I come without explanations or solutions,” added Mr. Bush. “I can only tell you what I saw. On the day of America’s trial and mourning, I saw millions of people instinctively grab the hand of one neighbor and rally to the cause of the other. This is the America I know.

Eight months after Capitol Hill was stormed by supporters of President Donald J. Trump, Bush warned against domestic extremism, saying “the dangers to our country may come not only from the other side of the borders, but also of the violence that is gathering inside “.

“There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home,” he continued. “But in their contempt for pluralism, in their contempt for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are like-minded children, and it is our constant duty to confront them.”

In his remarks, Bush paid tribute to the passengers and crew of Flight 93, which crashed into a field after those on board battled the hijackers and diverted them from their target. “Many of those who are now alive owe an immense and unconscious debt to the challenge displayed in the sky above this field,” he said.

In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks, Mr. Bush led the nation into the war in Afghanistan and, later, the war in Iraq. Speaking less than two weeks after the last US troops left Afghanistan, he acknowledged in his remarks that military actions over the past two decades “have given rise to debate.”

He sent a message to the veterans, saying they had been “a force for good in the world” and adding: “Nothing that followed, nothing, can tarnish your honor or diminish your achievements.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: George W. Bush warns of domestic extremism in 9/11 anniversary speech near Shanksville
George W. Bush warns of domestic extremism in 9/11 anniversary speech near Shanksville
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