“Our country is strong,” George W. Bush (2001) made an outstanding moving
speech after the tragic 9/11 attacks. Since the beginning of time, influential people have been preparing presentations that touch mass amounts of citizens. Jesus and His “Sermon on the Mount"; Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”; Martin Luther
King's “I Have a Dream”; and George W. Bush's “Address to the Nation on September
11, 2001” are all commonly referred to and quoted. Words of such significant individuals marked a time in history and brought light onto their subject. Authors like these must take into consideration the times and circumstances and use proper diction, as well as literary devices, in order to reach their audience in the way they hope. The effects of speeches continue on and can be adapted to fit later issues. The “Address to the Nation on 9/11” does just that.
The Islamic terrorist group Al-Qaeda, lead by Osama bin Laden, had been terrorizing America years before the attack on September 11, 2001. Bombings were not uncommon in the years previous, but the attack on the World Trade Center was the largest, most treacherous mission. At 8:45 AM on September 11, 2001, no one expected a jet to crash into the north tower of the World Trade Center. The tower went up in flames, and evacuation procedures were put into action. Most Americans believed this was an accident until 18 minutes later—a second plane collided into the south tower. Middle
Eastern terrorists had hijacked these planes: the attacks were suicide missions. At 9:45
AM, another plane crashed into the Pentagon, the United States military headquarters.
The Twin Towers then began to collapse. A fourth plane took off from Newark, New
Jersey, and the hijackers tried to take over, but America fought back. Passengers fought
the terrorists, using boiling water from the stewardess station, and won. However, their victory was that the plane crashed into an empty field and killed no one but the passengers. In these morbid attacks 2,996 people died. 2,977 of these deaths were innocent victims, and the other 19 were hijackers. The effects of this attack went beyond death and loss. They made a slash at the heart of the American nation, and George W.
Bush’s speech was written to try and remedy the cut.
Obtaining education from Harvard and Yale Universities, Bush is extremely intelligent. His education may have been what led to this “Address the Nation” speech being so incredibly influential. Bush would tell of the terror of the 9/11 events, and then counteract them by speaking of America’s strength and power. “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of
America.” He also told the people what would please their emotions during this time.
Bush elaborated on the innocence of the victims and the extreme evil nature of the terrorists. Of course, American citizens felt their anger and sadness fueled by his words.
They wanted the criminals to no longer be seen as people, but as monsters. Along with the tone, Bush created for his speech, he also used repetition in order to portray his feelings about the tragedy. When describing the acts and the people in charge of them, the speaker used the words “evil”, “murder”, and “deadly”. Bush expands on the strength of America numerous times. “Today our nations saw evil-- the very worst of human nature-- and we responded with the best of America.” “America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism.” The president also added a comforting scripture know by many Americans, Psalm 23, “Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
fear no evil for you are with me.” The way he closed encased an American belief in a
Divine Creator and whom he believed the American people needed to base…