Photo de Rob Jackson et Joshua Best
Ten years ago, America confronted one of our darkest nights. Mighty towers crumbled. Black smoke billowed up from the Pentagon. Airplane wreckage smoldered on a Pennsylvania field. Friends and neighbors; sisters and brothers; mothers and fathers; sons and daughters – they were taken from us with heartbreaking swiftness and cruelty. On September 12, 2001, we awoke to a world in which evil was closer at hand, and uncertainty clouded our future.
The decade since, much has changed for Americans. We’ve known war and recession; passionate debates and political divides. We can never get back the lives we lost on that day, or the Americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in the wars that followed.
Yet today, it is worth remembering what has not changed. Our character as a nation has not changed. Our faith – in God and each other – that has not changed. Our belief in America, born of a timeless ideal that men and women should govern themselves; that all people are created equal, and deserve the same freedom to determine their own destiny – that belief, through test and trials, has only been strengthened.
These past ten years have shown that America does not give in to fear. The rescue workers who rushed to the scene; the firefighters who charged up the stairs; the passengers who stormed the cockpit – these patriots defined the very nature of courage. Over the years we have also seen a more quiet form of heroism – in the ladder company that lost so many men and still suits up to save lives every day; the businesses that have rebuilt; the burn victim who has bounced back; the families that press on.
These ten years have shown that we hold fast to our freedoms.Yes, we are more vigilant against those who threaten us, and there are inconveniences that come with our common defense. Debates – about war and peace; about security and civil liberties – have often been fierce. But it is precisely the rigor of these debates, and our ability to resolve them in a way that honors our values, that is a measure of our strength. Meanwhile, our open markets still provide innovators with the chance to create, our citizens are still free to speak their minds, and our souls are still enriched in our churches and temples, our synagogues and mosques.
These past ten years underscore the bonds between all Americans. We have not succumbed to suspicion and mistrust. After 9/11, President Bush made clear what we reaffirm today: the United States will never wage war against Islam or any religion. Immigrants come here from all parts of the globe. In the biggest cities and the smallest towns, in our schools and workplaces, you still see people of every conceivable race, religion and ethnicity – all of them pledging allegiance to one flag; all of them reaching for the same American dream – e pluribus unum, out of many, we are one.
Decades from now, Americans will visit the memorials to those who were lost on 9/11. They will run their fingers over the places where the names of those we loved are carved into marble and stone, and wonder at the lives they led. Standing before the white headstones in Arlington, and in peaceful cemeteries and small-town squares in every corner of our country, they will pay respects to those lost in Afghanistan and Iraq. They will see the names of the fallen on bridges and statues; at gardens and schools.
And they will know that nothing can break the will of a truly United States of America. They will remember that we have overcome slavery and Civil War; bread lines and fascism; recession and riots; Communism and, yes, terrorism. They will be reminded that we are not perfect, but our democracy is durable, and that democracy – reflecting, as it does, the imperfections of man – also gives us the opportunity to perfect our union. That is what we honor on days of national commemoration – those aspects of the American experience that are enduring, and the determination to move forward as one people.
Discours d’Obama au Kennedy Center à Washington DC le 9 septembre 2011
Une vue de New York City le 5 septembre 2001 avec les Tours Jumelles (Jamie Squire/Allsport/Getty Images)
Dossier photos: une semaine avant l’événement
Personnes couvertes de cendres aux abords du World Trade Center le 11 septembre 2001 (AP Photo/Gulnara Samoilova)
Dossier photos: le jour de l’attaque
Essai lumière le 6 septembre 2011 en préparation du 11 septembre 2011 (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
Dossier photos: une décennie plus tard.