tv 9 11 Remembrance Ceremonies CSPAN September 16, 2012 12:30am-2:00am EDT
>> and the pentagon held its own memorial service on tuesday. president obama, defense secretary leon panetta, and joint chiefs of staff martin dempsey took part in the ceremony, honoring those injured in the attack. >> good morning. thank you for being here. we offer a special welcome to the family and friends of those
we lost 11 years ago today. one of them was the chief warrant officer. his bench was seventh in from the far right. he served as a marine in vietnam, flying helicopters. joined the army national guard as a medac pilot. he was loved by his students and moved by his deep commitment to them. one student said, he opened up my eyes and by heart to the world. many others became teachers, nurses, firefighters. bill retired from the classroom and return to serve in the pentagon. there is no doubt he lost his life that morning because he stops to help somebody.
there were thousands like bill that day. life takes on meaning only as the causes to which we attach ourselves have meaning. we become what we are through some cause we make our own. september 11 will always stand apart from other days. because of what those things say about all americans. as we remember the 184 lives that ended here and those that died in new york and pennsylvania, let us commit ourselves to the ideals for which they lived and which they believed. let us honor the generation inspired to step forward to defend our nation. a generation that still fights in afghanistan.
let's rededicate our lives to giving back. the strength of our democracy has always rested on the willingness of those who believed in those values and to serve, to give something back to this country. and now our secretary of defense, leon panetta. [applause] >> mr. president, mrs. obama, general dempsey, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and the family members who lost a loved one here on 9/11. 11 years ago on a morning very much like this, terrorists attacked the symbols of american strength -- our economy and our commerce, our military might and our democracy -- and took the lives of citizens from more than 90 countries.
it was the worst terrorist attack on america in our history. today people gather across the united states, around the world to remember the tragic events on 9/11. some take part in ceremonies like this. others spent time in quiet reflection and prayer. all of us take a moment to remember again where we were at that fateful moment.
here together as one family, we pause to honor and to pray and to remember the 184 lives lost at the pentagon. more than 2700 killed in lower manhattan. and the 40 who perished in that field in pennsylvania on flight 93. these victims families remember those who were lost as mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters. the family members here today know that the entire nation joins you in mourning the loss of your loved ones. we're honored by your presence
and just as your loved ones are heroes for ever, so are all of you. today we also recognize and remember other heroes, those first responders who rushed to the scene behind me into the fire to save lives and help in anyway possible. we owe all of you a special debt. we appreciate all you do it to provide aid and comfort to those who needed it so badly. our thoughts also turned to the survivors. on that bright sunny morning, you reported to work with no idea about the tragedy that lay ahead. suddenly this building was rocked by an explosion.
after the impact, many of you risked your lives to help others. many can remember the smell of the rubble and jet fuel. some of you knew the victims as office mates and friends and new their families. like 60 years before, a nation at peace suddenly found itself at war. but for all of you and for every american, this memorial is a permanent place for prayer and for remembrance. it is a fitting tribute to the lives of those so cruelly taken from us, the passengers and crew of flight 77, military and civilian personnel working here at the pentagon, it is a fitting tribute to all of those who were lost. yesterday i had the opportunity to visit another memorial, the
flight 93 national memorial in shanksville. i was reminded of those horrible moments after the hijacking when the passengers and crew were able to make frantic calls to speak to their loved ones for the last time. they knew what was at stake. and yet they decided to fight back. together they took swift and decisive action to stop yet another attack targeted at the nation's capital. that spirit of selflessness and determination and courage is the enduring legacy of 9/11. it inspires our nation and our military to ensure that such an attack will never happen again. it inspires us to never forget those who perished to defend their homeland, to defend our ideals, to send a message to our enemies that no one attacks the united states of america and
gets away with it. for today, we also recall that out of the shock and sadness of 9/11 came a new sense of unity and resolve, that this would not happen again. it inspired a fierce determination to fight back and protect our way of life. in trying to attack our strengths, the terrorists on least our greatest -- unleashed our greatest strength. millions of americans responded. a whole new generation stepped forward to fight this war on terrorism.
they bled on distant battlefields. they pursued those who would do less harm. they their lives on the line to give all of us a safer and better future and to bring those behind these attacks to justice. because of their sacrifices and because they were willing to fight and to die and because of their dedication, our nation is stronger and safer today than on 9/11. we never give up the search for bin laden. we decimated the leadership for al qaeda. that group is still a threat, we tell them a heavy blow and we will continue to fight them in yemen and somalia and north africa, wherever they go to make sure they'll have no place to hide.
our troops denied safe-haven to al-qaeda and its allies in afghanistan. make no mistake -- we will continue to pursue and fight our enemies wherever they go, wherever they hide, wherever they try to find refuge. we will never stop until we have made sure that america is safe. on this day of remembrance, let us renew a solemn pledge to those who died on 9/11 and their families. it is a pledge we also make to all of those who put their lives on the line and who paid a heavy price for the last 11 years of war. our pledge is to keep fighting for a safer and stronger future.
our pledge is to ensure that america will always remain a government of, by, and for all people. that pledge, that legacy makes clear that no one, no one who died on that terrible day 11 years ago died in vain. they died for a stronger america. this morning we're honored by the presence of our military and civilian leaders and we are honored by the president's of the president and mrs. obama. this president has led our efforts in this fight and i am honored to have served with him. it is my great honor to introduce our commander in chief.
ladies and gentlemen, president barack obama. [applause] >> secretary panetta, general dempsey, members of our armed forces, and to the families, vipers and loved ones of those we lost, -- survivors and loved ones of those lost. today we remember the day that began as so many others. drives to school and commutes to work, flights and familiar routines, quick hugs and quiet moments. it was a day like this one.
clear blue sky. sky will be filled with smoke and prayers of a nation shaken to its core. even now, all these years later, it is easy for those of us to close our eyes and to find ourselves back there, back when grief crashed over us like an awful wave, when americans everywhere held each other tight, seeking the reassurance that the world we knew wasn't crumbling under our feet. 11 times with marked another september 11 come and gone. 11 times we have paused in reflection and remembrance, in unity and in purpose. this is never an easy day, but
it is especially difficult for all of you, the families of nearly 3000 innocents who lost their lives. mothers and fathers, husbands and wives, your sons and your daughters. they were taken from us suddenly and far too soon. we cannot begin to imagine the pain you have endured these many years. we'll never fully understand how difficult it is been for you to carry-on and to rebuild your lives. a matter how many years past, a matter how many times we come together on this hallowed ground, know this -- you will never be alone and your loved ones when never be forgotten. they will endure in the hearts of our nation. through their sacrifice, they helped make the america we are
today. an america that has emerged stronger. most americans never considered a small band halfway around the world could do us such harm. most of us ever heard al qaeda. we have come together and dealt a crippling blow to the organization that brought evil to our shores. al qaeda's leadership has been devastated. our country is safer and our people are resilient. the majority of those who died on september 11 never put on our country's uniform. yet they inspired more than 5 million americans to wear that uniform over the last decade. these men and women have done everything that we have asked. the war in iraq is over and we're training afghan security
forces. by the end of 2014, the longest war in our history will be over. countless civilians have opened their hearts out to our troops and our veterans. 11 years ago, memorial services were held for americans with different races and creeds. backgrounds and beliefs. instead of turning against each other, a tragedy has brought us together. our fight is with al qaeda, not with islam or any other religion. this country was built as a beacon of freedom and tolerance. that is what made us strong, now and forever. when those innocent souls were taken from us, they left behind and unfilled work and tasks that remain undone.
that is why we chose to build the country up with a national day of service and a remembrance. it scripture tells us to not be overcome by evil but to overcome evil with good. there is no better way to honor the best them by discovered the best in ourselves. this anniversary allows us to renew our faith. even the darkest night gives way to a brighter dawn. we can touch these names and kneel beside the building. we can visit the field of honor
in pennsylvania and remember the heroes. we can see water cascading into the footprints of the twin towers. we may never be able to fully lift the burden left by those left behind, we know that somewhere a son is growing up with his father's eyes and a daughter has her mother's laugh. and reminders that those who died are with us still. as painful as this day is come in these us with a lesson -- that no single event can ever destroy who we are. no act of terrorism can change what we stand for. instead we recommit ourselves to the values that we believe in, holding firmly without wavering to the hope that we confess. when the history books are written, the true legacy of 9/11 will be a safer world, a stronger nation, and people more united than ever before.
god bless the memories of those we lost and god bless these united states of america. [applause] >> you can see the entire 9/11 memorial ceremonies in new york and the pentagon as well as remarks by members of congress. just go to our website at c- span.org and enter 9/11 memorials in the search box. that's c-span.org. >> and a bipartisan memorial was held at the capitol.
john boehner, senate majority harry reid, senate minority leader mitch mcconnell, and nancy pelosi spoke on the east steps of the capital. this is the same site congressional members gathered to sing, but american on september 11, 2001. this is about 20 minutes. -- to sing god bless america on september 11, 2001. this is about 20 minutes. [no audio] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> members of the house and senate, staff, plays and members of the community, thank you for joining us here today for marking the anniversary of september 11, 2001.
i invited you interpret as a bit in the singing of our national anthem which will be led by army master sergeant antonio giuliani. ♪ a say, can you see ♪ by the dawn's early light ♪ ♪ what so proudly we hail ♪ that the twilight's last gleaming ♪ ♪ whose bright stripes and bright stars ♪ ♪ through the perilous fight ♪ over the ramparts we watched ♪ were so gallantly streaming ♪ and the rockets red where ♪ the bombs bursting in air ♪ gave proof through the night
god of heaven and earth, we give you thanks for giving us another day. today, we commemorate a day begun in terror and ending in courage. we mourn those whose lives were snatched from them and wish comfort to those left behind who strive to cope with their loss. may you, oh, god, give them peace and healing. we thank you again for the almost universal international response to a great american tragedy which all the world recognized as theirs as well. all your children of good will could see the horror of actions by man who would presume to act in your name, causing so much death and destruction. may your spirit of truth and
peace and justice continue to fill people of all faiths, races and nations. help us. the present with us this day as we gather again on our capitol steps, bless the men and women who serve this great nation, and those who served in the senate and house of representatives. united then and united today in our shared citizenship, they have been given great responsibility by their fellow americans. made their show of unity of our a hopeful future concerted effort to do what is best for the united states. mayday be confident in the
knowledge that all americans stand behind them in their common effort to forge legislation that will reflect the resilient greatness of our nation, in building a vibrant economy into a safe and secure future. may all that is done this day and in the many days to come before your greater honor and glory, amen. >> amen. >> today we come together once again to remember and to reflect with reverence and with respect. whenever we speak of september 11, 2001, we tread on sacred ground. on this anniversary, the thoughts of our nation remain with the innocent americans that we lost, with the first
responders who arrived on the scene to rescue others, and stayed at ground zero to search for survivors and remains. our solemn pledge remains clear -- to never forget those who perished on 9/11, to give voice to those who vanished. to honor our men and women in uniform from world war ii. time will not dim the glory of their deeds. the same could be said of their families. they channel their grief into action to make america safer. their commitment of time has given all of us strength and made our country stronger. time will never dim the memory of those who perished.
in moments of pain and anguish. it will never dim the american people's spirit in the wake of the attacks. time will never diminish the courage of all of the first responders. country will continue to stand by them. in deed as well as in word. time has left the memories of 9/11 emblazoned on our hearts more than a decade. on this anniversary and in the years to come, time will continue to tell the true story of 9/11 as the 9/11 families turned a national tragedy into a time of unity. the families turned a national tragedy into a time of unity. our country came together with resolve and with hope. may god bless the families and children again and again and may god continue to bless the
united states of america. >> more than a decade later, most of us still remember 9/11 like it was yesterday. the initial confusion, the horrifying realizations of what was happening, the watching, the waiting, the grief, the anger, the resolve. would it weaken us in the world? would it weaken us at home?
would we stand up? would we shrink? 11 years later we can say with certainty and pride that 9/11 did not reveal the weakness of america. 9/11 revealed the greatest of america. we didn't have to wait very long to see it. the first moment after the attacks, we saw the courage of the first responders. in the days and weeks that followed, we saw the goodness and generosity of the volunteers who descended on new york. as the months turned into years, monuments were dedicated, mighty buildings rose again at the world trade center site, and so many have stepped forward since the 9/11 attacks to serve in the military and intelligence community.
we honor them today, too. america is a safer place. many who were responsible for the 9/11 attacks have been killed or captured. there is little doubt that ours is the greatest fighting forced the world has ever known. out of a great evil we have seen greatness and goodness from our country and from our countrymen. that is why we can mark this solemn anniversary not simply with pain, sorrow, but with a renewed pride in our nation and that unbending confidence and the goodness of its people. in her darkest hours, america
has always summon the courage and strength to persevere and to prevail. we now know 9/11 was no different. here is why. we believe that every person counts. hauntedwhat we're still by the faces of those who died, by the hopes and dreams that were extinguished. by the families and friendships that were shattered 11 years ago. we testified to our shared belief that each and every one of them was irreplaceable. we renew our commitment to live our lives worthy of their memory. we pledged once again to do what it takes to keep americans saved from those who still wish to do us harm.
>> it was 11 years ago today on a crystal clear morning much like today that terrorists attacked our nation. their attack wasn't just on airplanes, our buildings. it was an attack against the american spirit. an assault on freedom and democracy. they were determined to take lives and to break our nations will. all the violence turned our lives upside-down. it brought us together as a nation in the fight against terror. in the years since, we have crippled al qaeda. our nation has begun to heal.
we will never forget the bright september morning. we will never forget the thousands of innocent souls lost in new york, pennsylvania, and virginia. we will not forget the rescue workers or the sacrifice of the brave men and women of our man's armed forces, state department, intelligence committee who have made the world safer. determination carry us through those dark days. we will not forgot the way our nation fought back. >> cardinal edward egan talks
about going to st. vincent's hospital that morning. he found itself standing with two doctors. one of them was visibly shaken. if family members of his was in the towers on a high floor. the cardinal passed the young doctor if he would like to go somewhere and talk. the doctor said, no, i'm a doctor and this is my place. everyone stood their ground. everyone stood their place.
the patriots who banded together in the sky over shanksville to save this capital and these steps. the volunteers who raised their hands and said, "i will go and i will fight overseas in perilous conditions." the good samaritans who lined up to give blood and ask, what can i do? and people on their knees in prayers. everybody kept their place. that is the heart and core of the american people. that is the bond which lies
beneath our daily lives. every generation through hard sacrifice preserved the blessings of liberty and freedom. if we falter, it will be because we forgot we lost in hardship. today we listened and we vow never to forget. to carry on to meet the unmet challenges. we are americans and this is our place. join me in a moment of silence for those that we honor and remember today.
let us bow for the benediction. may the memory of 9/11 remind us you are our refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble. therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea. may our gratitude for your assistance in providence
motivate us to stride for greater unity, to be more aware of our mortality, and to work to leave this world better than we found it. continue to bless and keep us, make your face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. lift the light of your confidence on to us and give us your peace now and always. we pray in your sovereign name, amen. >> amen. >> please join me in saying "god bless america."
>> this concludes today's ceremony. thank you for coming. ♪ >> on wednesday, john mccain and joe lieberman spoke on the senate floor to mark -- to.mark the attacks on september 11. mr. mccain: mr. president, it's with a heavy heart that i rise today to speak about the horrific attack yesterday on the u.s. consulate in been gaza that
killed -- benghazi that killed four american citizens. the two confirmed thus far among the dead are slawn smith, an air force veteran turned information management officer and ambassador chris stevens, one of america's finest and bravest foreign service officers. i didn't know sean smith, i know he's a great american who served his country, but i had gotten to know chris stevens quite well. and ambassador chris stevens' death, the libyan people have lost a champion and believer in the peaceful aspirations of their democratic revolution. the american people have lost a selfless and dedicated servant of our interests and our values, and i have lost a friend. my thoughts and prayers today are with chris' family and the
loved ones of his fallen colleagues. my god grant them comfort in their time of grief. our most urge vent -- urgent order of business is now is to ensure our citizens in libya and egypt and elsewhere across the world are safe. americans look to the government in libya and egypt and elsewhere to meet their responsibilities in this regard. we also look to the libyan government to ensure that those responsible for yesterday's attack in benghazi are swiftly brought to justice. in all of these critical tasks we are confident our government will provide all necessary assistance and support. yesterday's attacks are an important reminder so many of american civilians and diplomats and development professionals are risking everything, everything, to advance our nation's interests and values abroad. we must do everything in our
power to ensure their security. at the same time, our thoughts turn to broader concerns. the morning of our fallen friends -- mourning of our fallen friends and how we as a nation should respond to these tragic events. one of my most memorable meetings with chris steeives was last april in benghazi. as envoy to the libyan opposition chris had traveled to benghazi at personal risk to represent the country that he loved so much while libya was still gripped in a brutal fight for freedom. it was clear there was nowhere that chris would rather have been than libya. we spent the day together meeting libyan opposition leaders and many ordinary citizens who spoke movingly about how much the opportunity to finally live in freedom meant to them. and how grateful they were for america's support. chris stevens embodied that
support, and his passion for his mission was infectious. i kept in touch with him often and frequently after my visit, i was very happy when president obama nominated him to be america's ambassador to the new libya. the last time i saw chris stevens was shortly after he had taken up his post during my most recent visit to trip olie. -- tripoli. i remember the lighter moments we spent together including when chris insisted on personally making me a capital ewe china', a -- chan achino, which he deard he carried out with proficiency. that was on the morning of july 7, the day libyans voted in their first election in half a century. chris stevens and i spent the day together again, traveling around tripoli, visiting
polling places and speaking with libyan voters. we met a man whose father had been murdered by qadhafi's henchmen. we met a woman whose brothers had given their lives fighting for liberation. we met countless others including many older libyans who were voting for the first time in their lives. and everywhere we went, we were greeted by crowds of cheering libyans bursting with pride and eager to shake our hands and express their gratitude for america's support. it was one of the most moving experiences of my life, and it was only made better by the fact that i got to share it with our outstanding ambassador, chris stevens. what we saw together on that day was the real libya, the peaceful desire of millions of people to live in freedom and
democracy. the immense gratitude they felt for america's support for them. and their strong desire to build a new partnership between our nations. that's why i'm not surprised that senior libyan leaders were among the first to condemn the horrific attack that killed chris and his colleagues, and that's why i was not surprised to learn from our secretary of state that many libyans fought to defend our people and our consulate in benghazi when they came under attack, that some were wounded while doing so. and that it was libyans who sought to get chris and his colleagues to the hospital. and that's why we can't afford to view the despicable acts of violence perpetrate he yet by a small group of fanatics as in any way representative of the country and the people of libya. that's not the real libya.
the libya that chris stevens knew and learned to love so well. after such a heartbreaking loss for our nation, i know that many americans are asking whether the united states was naive or miss taken to support -- mistaken to support the vast movement for change that cell phone as the arab spring. i know many americans may feel a temptation especially with so many domestic and economic challenges facing us here at home, to distance ourselves from people and events in libya and egypt and elsewhere in the middle east. we cannot afford to go down that path. yesterday's attack in benghazi was the work of a small group of violent extremists whose goals and actions could not be more at odds with those of the people and government of libya.
the libyan revolution began peacefully and was dedicated throughout to the ideals of freedom and justice and democratic change. and when libyans turned out by the millions to elect a new government in july, they gave the plurality of their vote not to religious fanatics but to a political party led by a moderate tech know carat and -- technospcrat and committed to friendship with the united states. libyans rose up last year to free themselves from exactly the kinds of murderers and terrorists who killed our american citizens yesterday in benghazi. their enemies are our enemies, and they remain as committed as ever to imposing their evil ideology through violence on people in libya and the middle east and ultimately on us.
they want to hijack the arab spring for their own insidious purposes, and if we turn our backs now on the millions of people in libya and egypt and syria and other countries across the middle east, people who share so many of our values and interests, people who are the true authors of the arab spring, we will hand our common enemies the terrorists and extremists, the very victory that they seek. we were right to take the side of the libyan people and others in the religious who share their peaceful aspirations and we would be gravely mistaken to walk away from them now. to do so would only be a betrayal of everything that chris stevens and his colleagues believed in and ultimately gave their lives for. it would be a betrayal of america's highest values and our
own enduring national interest in supporting people in the middle east and the world who want to live in peace and freedom. mr. president, i'm pleased to be joined by my friend from connecticut and i know that he shares with me the sorrow that we and all americans feel at the loss of a brave and dedicated american. but it will be a long time before we forget chris stevens, because he will stand as a shining example of patriotism and love of country. chris stevens was not unaware of the danger that he faced. he was privy to intelligence information and others. but he went forward and did his job with a smile, the love of
his country, and love of the country where he was serving. i cannot be more proud of ambassador chris stevens. mr. lieberman: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. lieberman: mr. president, i thank my friend from arizona for his very eloquent statement. i associate myself with it. it strikes me as i listen that it was no accident that these violent extreme extremists launched this attack on the american consulate in benghazi, tripoli on 9/11, a day of infamy in our history, a day when people across our country and really around the world were commemorating the worst terrorist attack in our history which was september 11, 2001. those who perpetrated the attack on the consulate in benghazi which resulted in the death of
our ambassador, chris stevens, carried out an act of terrorism and barbarism that they hope will sow fear and hatred between americans and muslims, just as osama bin laden and his followers hoped the attacks of 9/11 would do 11 years ago. but we did not let bin laden succeed then, and we will not let these violent extremists who killed chris stevens yesterday in benghazi succeed in dividing america and the west from muslims and the arab world. well-intentioned people in both great communities will rise up and join together to renounce these extremists and killers.
i want speak for a moment about ambassador stevens. simply put, chris stevens was one of the finest, bravest, most spirited, most talented diplomats in our nation's service. as a volunteer in the peace corps, he served in morocco where he was inspired to pursue a lifetime of service in the middle east. when the uprising against moammar qadhafi began in february of last year, chris was the deputy chief of mission of our ambassador in tripoli, libya. he was vaikd along with other -- evacuated along with other american personnel from the country but returned to libya within weeks as the special envoy of the united states of america to the opposition there. courageously slipping into rebel-held benghazi on board a cargo freighter. it was an act of bravery that typified chris stevens' service
to our country, and his devotion to our nation's ideals and his commitment to build bridges between americans and arabs, americans and muslims. chris remained in benghazi throughout the war, standing with the people of libya during some of the darkest and most difficult hours in their struggle for freedom. he became, in fact, the bright symbol of america, heroic and inspiring figure to many libyans. as senator mccain and senator graham and i heard during our visits there and was thus the natural choice of president obama to become our ambassador to tripoli after the cad cads -- qadhafi regime fell. this is why his death at the hand of violent extremists in benghazi which was the seat of the revolution against qadhafi, is so tragic and infuriating.
there is obviously much we still don't know about what happened at our consulate in benghazi yesterday, but what is clear is that these attackers have to be apprehended and must be punished. i'm encouraged but not surprised by the statements of libya's leaders condemning this attack and i say i'm not surprised because these statements of condemnation of those who killed chris stevens are consistent with what i know the leaders of the new libya to be, what i know to be their profound admiration and love for chris stevens and their respect and gratitude for the united states of america. we look now to the libyan government to act swiftly and decisively and to our own government to provide the libyans whatever support they need to find the attackers and killers.
while a specific group of individuals was responsible for this evil act and their target immediately was the americans in that consulate, but really their target was the new order in libya. and they were animated in this by an ideology that is now all too familiar to us that we cannot ignore or excuse. this hateful and violent ideology is a threat not just to the lives of americans like chris stevens and the three others who died yesterday in benghazi, but to the future of libya and the future of the muslim world. it is the exact opposite of the ideals that inspired millions of libyans to rise up last year against qadhafi to realize their dreams of a life of dignity, democracy and human rights. for that reason, it is
imperative now for those libyan people themselves to echo their leaders and condemn this violence and take on the extremists who have taken shelter in their midst and who threaten to hijack their revolution and imperil the future of their country, returning them to days as dark as under qadhafi. i know that the overwhelming majority of libyans reject this violent extremist agenda. they want a good education for their children. they want foreign investment that will create jobs and raise their standard of living. after 42 years of despair and oppression under qadhafi, they badly want again to be part of the world, part of the modern world, and the united states should stand ready and willing to help them on that path. the fact is that the people who killed chris stevens yesterday
in benghazi do not represent the people of libya or their elected leadership. but these killings require confronting the extremist minority that imperils this future, the fanatics who want a clash of civilizations between muslims and the west and who will try to justify their violence in the name of islam. they are wrong. they are mistaken. they are on the wrong side of history. and finally, let me come back home and say, to echo what senator mccain has said, that i know there will be some here in our country who, in the wake of this attack, will be tempted to argue that it shows that america's support for the libyan revolution was naive or mistaken, that the arab spring will ultimately be defined not by a desire for democracy and freedom among the people of the middle east and arab world, but by the dark fanaticism of
al qaeda and its associates and united states should give up trying to support people in this part of the world instead of -- and instead retrench back here at home. that would be terribly wrong. that would misunderstand the motivations of the people who have risen up in the arab world to overthrow the totalitarian governments that dominated their lives. they don't want the fanaticism of al qaeda. they want the bright light of a democratic future. we cannot allow what happened yesterday to be a victory for the extremists and the terrorists, because to do so would be a betrayal of everything ambassador chris stevens stood for, which is to say a betrayal of america's best ideals. mr. president, i note the presence on the floor of of the
senator from south carolina and i would yield to him at this time. mr. graham: thank you. mr. president, i'll speak just very briefly. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: there's not a whole lot to -- to be added to the eloquent statements of my two friends other than just to be here and to let the family of chris stevens know that we saw in your loved one what you sa saw -- a wonderful man who did great things with a life cut way too short. i don't think most americans can ever appreciate the leadership that chris provided in libya and throughout the world at a time when we needed it the most. so america's lost one of her greatest diplomats. the libyans have lost one of their best friends. and the sphream lost their dear loved one. and the one thing i can say for sure, as senator lieberman just mentioned it, don't compound this tragedy. the worst possible outcome is to take the -- death of this
wonderful, noble man and use it as an excuse sceus t and withdrm the region andal trough to return to the extremists -- and allow it to return to the extremists. to the americans who are trust frustrated, i totally get it. but the arab spring -- call it what you like -- but it is an historic opportunity to change things in the middle east. but it will not come without fight. what we're trying to do in the mid-east and what the people in the mideast are trying to into have a better life for themselves. if you're a young people, you've been exposed to a life outside of the country life of the country in which you leave and you see it can be better. and quite frankly, you're demanding a better life. you're demanding an equal say if you're a young woman. and you're demanding a class if it's not available to you today. chris stevens risked his live because he understood those ideals were just understood what we were fighting. and the libyan people who who we
are fighting are the ones who have no interest in this agenda, of being able to choose a better path for young people, to being tolerant, open, accept free markets and have a place where people can live their own dreams. and the world of which we're fighting, your dreams are defined by the ayatollahs. your aspirations are defined by someone else's view of where you should go and what you should be based on their interpretation of god's plan for you. now, that to me is so unacceptable that is com compels people like cis steven cis likeo risk their lives. the people in these countries now have been exposed to a different way of life. given the capacity, they have the will to fight back. but if you think this is going to be done without a struggle,
we're kidding ourselves. chris knew that. he knew that the fight that was going on for the heart and soul of the arab spring in libya was a fight worth engaging in and, yes, risking one's life for. and what more can you say about a fellow human being, an american than the fact that they realized that their time on earth could be best spent in service of a cause, as senator mccain says, greater than themselves? chris understood what was at stake. he went to a place that he did not have to go. he accepted risks that he could have avoided. and he did it for all the right reasons. and the one thing we should all unite around is that what compelled chris stevens to risk his life is absolutely in our national security interest and that is to get the mideast right, have a second opportunity never known before in the mideast to live in peace with people who in the past wanted to kill us all.
and i am convinced if we stick with it and we learn the lessons of chris stevens' life, we will eventually prevail. because the ones who want to kill us all are really a minority. the ones who would live with us in peace if they could just need our help. and let it be said that chris stevens was there to help. thank you. mr. mccain: i thank my friend for his eloquent words. i'd also again like to emphasize, there was four brave americans -- four -- shawn smith was one of them, a truly great american. there are two others we don't even know their identity. so i hope that the families who have suffered this loss appreciate that we grieve for all. we had the opportunity of knowing chris smith. excuse me, chris stevens. i did meet shawn smith and the
others. we mourn for them and we thank them for their service to this nation. and i'd just ask my friend from connecticut, wouldn't it be the worst legacy of chris stevens' service to this country would be a movement for the united states to withdraw to fortress america, to renounce our -- our -- our service to the world in helping these countries achieve the same democracy and freedom that our forefathers strived for? i do not mean to use his death as any kind of political agenda, but i think my friend and i remember him well enough to know that the worst outcome of this tragedy would be for the united
states to withdraw. in fact, i am confident that if he were here, he would be urging us to get right back in, get -- bring these extremists to justice and press on with the democracy and freedom that the people of libya deserve and have earned at great loss of blood and treasure. mr. lieberman: mr. president, i couldn't agree more with my friend from arizona. it would -- it would really dishonor the service of chris stevens and the three other americans who served us in libya if their murders by these extremists led us to retrench and pull out of libya and stop supporting the new libyan government, democratically elected, pull out of other parts of the arab world. that would be exactly the opposite of what ambassador stevens devoted his life to. as i mentioned, inspired by his experience as a peace corps volunteer in morocco, devoted
the rest of his life to service on america's behalf in the -- in the middle east. the last thing he would want this murder to do is to lead us to pull out, leave the area. and it would also be the fondest hope of the attackers, the extremists. why do that he tack? they attack to kill individual people but they really attack to, as i said before, push america out and create a war between the western world, america and islam. it's not natural. it's not the direction in which history is going. history is going much more towards integration. in fact, the revolution in lib libya, which has gone so successfully when you consider the 40 years of dictatorship they live under. they've held a free election.
they elected what i would describe as a moderate rule of law, slate to run country. but those uprisings in libya, egypt, tunisia and now in syria are -- are the most profound rejection and defeat for the extremism of al qaeda and its allies and presumably this group that attacked the american consulate in benghazi yesterday. i understand that the results of some of the first elections of -- are unclear, in some sense unsettled to some people here, but the fact is they've chosen democracy. and people are self-governing and they're looking for a better life, and that's exactly the opposite of what bin laden, al qaeda, and i would guess the people who killed chris stevens yesterday desire.
so senator mccain is absolutely right, this is the day -- i can almost hear chris stevens saying, come on, get up, stay in the fight; don't surrender to the crazies, to the fanatics, to the violent extremists. stand with the overwhelming majority, with the people of libya who want just what we want, a better future for themselves and their families. mr. mccain: i'd just like to say in conclusion i thank my old, dear friend from connecticut and the senator from south carolina. and i finally would just share with my colleagues, on last july 7th, i was in tripoli with chris stevens and it was the first free and fair election the libyan people have ever experienced. as we went from polling place to polling place, we met people who had met -- who had lost brothers, husbands, fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers at
the hands of one of the more brutal butchers that has ever been on earth, moammar qadhafi. that night we went to the square where some 200,000 people driving around, honking horns, celebrating, waving libyan flags, really an auspicious start. and as nor lieberma senator lied out, it was a moderate group who were elected to govern libya but the people of libya. chris stevens was recognized by all of them. they knew chris stevens, and they knew he represented, the united states of america. so those are memories that i will never forget, and i hope that his family will appreciate the magnificent service that chris
>> in his weekly address, president obama talked about the attacks. then florida representative allen west kids the republican response on the defense budget and the proposed sequestration cut. >> this week in libya, we lost four of our fellow americans, glenn doherty, carolyn woods, sean smith and chris stevens were all killed on an outrageous attack in our post in benghazi. these americans represented the best of our country. glenn and tyrone had served in america's navy seal for many years before their continued service providing security for our diplomats. they died defending their fellow americans advancing the values that all was cold beer. -- that all of us hold dear. shawn also started his service in uniform, in the air force. he then spent years at the state
department, on several continents, always entering his country's call. and investor chris stevens died a hero in two countries, here in the united states, where he inspired us who knew him, and in libya, a country that he helped to save, where he'll completely laid down his life. on friday, house able to tell their families have much the american people appreciated their service. without people like them, america could not sustain the freedoms we enjoy, the leadership would demand. as we mourn their loss, we must also send a clear and resolute message to the world. those who attack our people will find no escape from justice. we will not waver in the pursuit and we will never allow anyone to shake the resolve of the united states of america. this tragic event takes place during turmoil in many countries. the united states has a profound respect for people all faiths. we stand for religious freedom.
and we reject the denigration of any religion, including islam. but there is never any justification for violence. there is no religion that condones the targeting of innocent men and women. there is no excuse for an attack of the american consulate. we will never tolerate efforts to harm our fellow americans. right now, we're doing whatever we can to reject a marriage -- to protect americans who are serving abroad. we are in contact with governments around the globe to make sure that every nation has a responsibility to help us protect our people. we have moved forward with an effort to see that justice is done for those we lost. we will not rest until that work is done. most of all, we must reaffirm that we will carry on the work of our fallen heroes. i know the images on our televisions are disturbing. but let us never forget that, for every angry mob, there are millions to yearn for the freedom and dignity and hope that our flag represents.
that is the cost of america. the ideals that took root in our founding. we are americans. we know that our spirit cannot be broken and the foundation of our leadership cannot be shaken. that is the legacy of the four americans that we lost, men who will live on in the hearts of those they loved and in the strength of the country they serve. with their memory to guide us, we will go forward. thanks. >> hello, i am united states representative and retired army lieutenant colonel alan west from the great state of florida. feared this week, the republican-led house of representatives continued to focus on jobs and removing government barriers that make it harder to create jobs. including the small business tax hike that president obama
has proposed. it threatens our already struggling economy. the house took action to address a serious threat to our national security, which is what i would like to discuss with you today. far from the coverage of election day, there is another day limit, january 2. it has here is consecrations for our nation's security -- it has serious consequences for our nation's security. there will be cuts that will reduce our national defense by as much as 10%. i spent 22 years in active-duty service in the united states army and served in several combat zones. i cannot understand -- i cannot understate the dam is that these -- the amount of damage that these cuts would do to our country. we would have the smallest ground force since 1940 and the smallest tactical force in the history of the united states military.
leon panetta said that cuts of this magnitude would be devastating to the defense department. the house of representatives has approved irresponsible plan to -- a responsible plan to replace these devastating cuts. the bad news is that the people's house is the only part of our government that is acting to eliminate this threat to our national security. the senate, a body controlled by our president's party, has done nothing. they have a poster disregarded -- the president himself has opposed or disregarded any attempt we have made to work with him on a solution. president obama's failure to lead is inexcusable on his face. but even worse is the fact that the sequester, which is the president's idea in the first place. he wanted to avoid making the tough choices necessary to get our economy moving again and
dealing with our crushing debt. he did not want to deal with the issue again before his reelection campaign, so the what has put in this dangers sequester as an escape hatch. dutch irresponsibility is how -- dodging his responsibility is how the sequestered came about. the president's senate did nothing. the house came back this week and passed a bill that i sponsored, that requires the president to finally sent congress a legitimate plan to replace his sequestered. while the president may not like our ideas, he has a responsibility to put forth his own and to press his senate allies to action appeared before -- at the very least this is the beginning of common ground. but before the house started to
debate my bill, the president threatened to veto it. one must simply ask why. think of the week we have just been through. consider the stark and her thick -- stark and horrific reminders that freedom remained under siege by forces in violence over freedom of expression. it is critical that the united states expressed strength, that we remain resolute. the purpose of this addresses to respond to president obama, coming to say this to him directly. as an elected representative of the people, a career soldier, and concerned citizen, mr. president, for you as commander-in-chief of our armed forces, to sit and do nothing while our dark cloud hangs over the military is shameful. it is irresponsible and it is wrong. it is dead wrong. and you're not -- in your nomination acceptance speech, you stated your goal was to have the strongest military the world has ever known. you have proven this promise to the american people is nothing
more than empty rhetoric. your determination to allow sequestration proves your words are as hollow as your desire to hollow out our military. all of this is a bargaining chip to raise taxes. for the sake of our country and our future, i hope you will do the right thing, sir, and work with us to eliminate this threat so we can confront the great threats of freedom around the globe, to listen to our allies. it is because of these threats that america must continue to fund its military and support its armed forces to the fullest extent. the lives of all americans depend on it as to the memories of and battery -- of ambassador chris stevens and the servicemen who perished with him this week in the middle east. please take a moment this week and to pray for their loved ones and for the brave warriors of our armed forces, the men and women, my brothers in arms who stay steadfast and loyal.
>> in less than three weeks, the first of the presidential debates live on c-span, c-span radio, and our website. next, a house hearing on security and then a discussion on protecting nuclear materials. after that, of forum on the status of negotiations with a run on their nuclear program. -- with iran on their nuclear program. on news makers, the chairman of the house appropriations committee talks about the appropriations process and what congress might do during the lame duck session. at 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> we can invest in clean coal and new fuels. are construction workers can build homes an