'If It Is Strong We Are Stronger ...': New York City 9/11 Commemoration

Article excerpt

I come to this hallowed ground today bearing the devotion and the condolences of President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush for the families gathered here today.

The words and actions of our President and First Lady have comforted all of us many times since that day three years ago when the acts of madmen shocked the conscience of America. The President and First Lady's hearts are with you and your family today during these poignant hours of remembrance.

Henry James wrote that "sorrow comes in great Waves ... but it rolls over us, and though it may almost smother us it leaves us on the spot and we know that if it is strong we are stronger, in as much as it passes and we remain."

We realize today that we are, in fact, stronger than the sorrow, and we are unquestionably stronger than our enemies who brought that sorrow upon us.

While we will never forget, we will not be afraid. Just one month ago we were made aware of a terrorist threat to buildings here in this city, some of the symbols of our nation's financial strength.

The response of New Yorkers was a beautiful thing to behold. More employees came to work at the New York Stock Exchange that Monday in August than any other Monday in August in the history of the Exchange.

A real New Yorker may put it more bluntly, but I interpreted the message as thus: "Take that, Al Qaida. You won't win, and you can't win. …