Country's leaders speak out on tragedy
Published 12:02 am Wednesday, September 12, 2001
George W. Bush
BARKSDALE AIR FORCE BASE, LA. n I want to reassure the American people that the full resources of the federal government are working to assist local authorities to save lives and to help the victims of these attacks. Make no mistake: The United States will hunt down and punish those responsible for these cowardly acts.
I've been in regular contact with the Vice President, the Secretary of Defense, the national security team and my Cabinet.
We have taken all appropriate security precautions to protect the American people.
Our military at home and around the world is on high alert status, and we have taken the necessary security precautions to continue the functions of your government.
We have been in touch with the leaders of Congress and with world leaders to assure them that we will do whatever is necessary to protect America and Americans.
I ask the American people to join me in saying a thanks for all the folks who have been fighting hard to rescue our fellow citizens and to join me in saying a prayer for the victims and their families.
The resolve of our great nation is being tested.
But make no mistake: We will show the world that we will pass this test.
Senator Jeff Sessions
WASHINGTON, D.C. n This is a colossal national tragedy and a personal tragedy for the thousands whose loved ones have been killed or injured by these dastardly terrorists. Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
We need to redouble our efforts to identify who is responsible and exact the fullest retribution for these horrific acts. As I have said in hearings, when we have people like Osama bin Laden who declare war on the United States, they are not entitled to a trial in federal court. Our first responsibility is to defend the United States and destroy those who seek to destroy us. In doing so, we have got to use good judgment and all of the wisdom God can give us.
FEMA Director Joseph Allbaugh
WASHINGTON, D.C. I activated this afternoon eight urban search and rescue task forces from all over the United States, and an incident support team, to arrive in New York …
I've spoken with Governor Pataki, Governor Gilmore, Mayor Giuliani; they are handling this about as well as anyone could handle it.
These teams we've deployed are especially trained teams from all across the country, comprised of engineers and other technical individuals, with dogs that are trained to handle incidents such as this.
We at FEMA have also put a team on the ground, an advanced element team … The Army Corps of Engineers are already on the ground, getting ready to handle debris removal.
This afternoon, as you know, the President did declare New York City a disaster. I have named Ted Monette the Federal Coordinating Officer. He will be my personal representative on the ground during the duration of this incident.
In Washington, we have three mortuary teams on site, three medical teams, four urban search and rescue teams …
We will be deploying individuals as needed. I'll be in constant contact with those governors; additional search and rescue, if needed. We're identifying additional needs that state and local governments are requiring.
Our hearts are hurting this evening. Those individuals who have lost loved ones or do not know where their loved ones are, are in our prayers and are in our thoughts.
Attorney General John Ashcroft
WASHINGTON, D.C. n Today America has experienced one of the greatest tragedies ever witnessed on our soil. These heinous acts of violence are an assault on the security of our nation. They are an assault on the security and the freedom of every American citizen.
We will not tolerate such acts. We will expend every effort and devote all the necessary resources to bring the people responsible for these acts, these crimes, to justice.
Now is the time for us to come together as a nation to offer our support, our prayers for the victims and for their families, for the rescue workers, for law enforcement officials, for every one of us that has been changed forever by this horrible tragedy.