News Releases

I'm proud to join with all of you today as we honor those who lost their lives in last week's attack.

I especially want to thank Naval Station Everett, Admiral John Kelly, and Captain Squires for bringing us together for this service. The members of our Naval Community keep us safe, and we're all praying for your safety in the days and weeks ahead.

First, I want to offer my prayers and thoughts to those who were affected by this tragedy, to their families and friends. Even though we're a large, diverse country, we're connected in many ways, and we've felt that more than ever in the past week.

Last week, we all saw horrible images. I don't need to recount them here today. Instead, I want to share with you what I have seen in the wake of last Tuesday's attack. It seems to me that we have changed in three ways.

First, I think we've all realized how fragile life can be. I think that being with our families and talking with our children now have special meaning for us in light of last week's events. We're taking care of our neighbors and friends, and we're donating blood and money to help people we have never met.

Second, I think we have a stronger appreciation for the people who keep us safe -- including members of our Armed Forces, police, and firefighters. One of my brothers is firefighter in Tacoma. Thankfully, no one from the Tacoma Fire Department was hurt in the attack. Still, my brother told me that people are showing up at the fire station with flowers because they want to say thank you. The same thing is happening in Washington, D.C., where military personnel are on the streets throughout downtown. People are coming up to them just to say thank you for being here and keeping us safe.

Finally, I've seen another change since last week, and this one is the most important. As a country, we are more united than ever. These terrorist attacks were meant to divide us -- to tear our country apart. But what they've really done is bring us all closer together.

I've been traveling all around our state, and I've seen a new sense of unity. In one neighborhood, kids were selling lemonade on the corner to raise money for the Red Cross relief effort.

At an elementary school in Lynnwood, students wrote letters to students in New York City expressing their condolences. I have those letters with me. Tomorrow, I will give them to Senator Hillary Clinton, and she will pass them onto students in New York so they know that children 3,000 miles away are supporting them.

We've got to hold onto this sense of unity.

As many of you know, on Friday, Congress passed a resolution authorizing the use of force. Our national security team is looking at different military options. This won't be a quick victory. It will take a sustained effort over the long haul. We don't know what the days and weeks ahead will hold. But for us to succeed -- for us to win this war against terrorism -- we have got to stand together. We have got to hold onto the strength and sense of unity we've discovered in the past week.

Unfortunately, in a few minutes, I will have to leave this service for briefings on our military response at McCord Air Force Base and at Fort Lewis. And while I apologize that I won't be able to stay, I want you to know that our government is unified and is taking the necessary steps. So thank you for coming together today to honor those who were lost, their families and friends. I want to thank our local police, firefighters, military and emergency responders for keeping us safe. As we remember the victims and try to heal our nation, we've got to hold on to our sense of unity come what may. May God bless our country and all of you.