Washington: Claiming that US is now stronger, safer and more respected in the world, President Barack Obama Saturday told Americans ahead of the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that al Qaeda leaders have been decimated and its chief Osama bin Laden would never threaten the country again.
Remembering the nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children who died in the attacks 11 years ago, Obama in his weekly address said that the US took the fight to al Qaeda, decimated their leadership, and put them on a path to defeat.
"Thanks to the courage and skill of our intelligence personnel and armed forces, Osama bin Laden will never threaten America again," he said.
"Instead of pulling back from the world, we've strengthened our alliances while improving our security here at home. As Americans, we refuse to live in fear. Today, a new tower rises above the New York skyline. And our country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world," he added.
"Instead of turning on each other, we've resisted the temptation to give in to mistrust and suspicion. I have always said that America is at war with al-Qaeda and its affiliates and we will never be at war with Islam or any other religion," said the US President.
Obama said instead of changing who Americans are, the attacks have brought out the best in the people.
"More than five million members of the 9/11 generation have worn America's uniform over the past decade, and we've seen an outpouring of goodwill towards our military, veterans, and their families," he said.
"Together, they've done everything we've asked of them. We’ve ended the war in Iraq and brought our troops home. We brought an end to the Taliban regime. We’ve trained Afghan Security Forces, and forged a partnership with a new Afghan Government. And by the end 2014, the transition in Afghanistan will be complete and our war there will be over," Obama said.
"Instead of turning inward with grief, we've honored the memory of those we lost by giving back to our communities, serving those in need, and reaffirming the values at the heart of who we are as a people. That's why we mark September 11th as a National Day of Service and Remembrance. Because we are one American family. And we look out for each other not just on the difficult days, but every day," Obama said.
First Published: Saturday, September 08, 2012, 16:21