I want to thank the President and the Republican Party for holding this event in my hometown, my father’s hometown, my grandfather’s and great grandfather’s birthplace. Just over 1,000 days ago, 2,605 of my neighbors were murdered at the World Trade Center — men, women and children — as they began their day on a brilliantly clear New York autumn morning, less than four miles from where I am now standing.
We will never forgive. Never forget. Never excuse!
At the end of World War II, General Douglas MacArthur, Supreme Allied Commander of the South Pacific, said: “It is my earnest hope – indeed the hope of all mankind – that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past, a world found upon faith and understanding, a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish for freedom, tolerance and justice.”
The hope he expressed then remains relevant today. We are again engaged in a war that will define the future of humankind. Responding to attacks on our soil, America has led a coalition of countries against extremists who want to destroy our way of life and our values.
This is a war we did not seek.
This is a war waged against us.
This is a war to which we had to respond.
History shows that we are not imperialists . . . but we are fighters for freedom and democracy. Even though I am a well-recognized liberal on many issues confronting our society today, I find it ironic that many human rights advocates and outspoken members of my own entertainment community are often on the front lines to protest repression, for which I applaud them but they are usually the first ones to oppose any use of force to take care of these horrors that they catalogue repeatedly.
Under the unwavering leadership of President Bush, the cause of freedom and democracy is being advanced by the courageous men and women serving in our Armed Services.
The President is doing exactly the right thing.
That is why we need this President at this time!
I am grateful for the chance to speak tonight to express my support for our Commander-in-Chief, for our brave troops, and for the vital cause which they have undertaken. General Dwight Eisenhower’s statement of 60 years ago is true today . . .
“United in this determination and with unshakable faith in the cause for which we fight, we will, with God’s help, go forward to our greatest victory.”