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Estevan Padilla
Gail Richard
Composition II
31 January 2016
George W. Bush: Address to the Nation Speech 9/11
The speech begins with President George W. Bush emphasizing that our way of life and
freedom had been viciously attacked the morning of September 11, 2001. We are reminded of the
horrifying images that we all had seen earlier that day. It is doubtful that there is no one that does
not remember where they were the morning of September 11th and what they were doing when
the first images of what had occurred were broadcast across the nation. We as a nation were
being reminded of the devastation that we initially witnessed and how we were all spellbound as
we continue to watch the events unfold before us, resulting in an initial feeling of helplessness.
Many American citizens initially felt powerless and could not help but wonder what was going to
happen next.
The logos of this speech was to assure the American people that they were safe, that they
were strong and would prevail against the attack of terrorism, which occurred on September 11th
when he spoke the following words. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of
American resolve (Bush). On this day our country experienced a paradigm shift, as we the
American people were no longer safe as we had so long believed. Up until this point in time we
had remained untouched on American soil, but this all changed on September 11th.

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President George W. Bush delivered his speech to the American public the evening of
September 11th. Bush had to address the horror of that day and attempt to offer our citizens
comfort, strength and the promise that the acts of that day would not go unanswered. He
accomplished this task by acknowledging the actions of that day. He acknowledged our sadness
and anger over what had occurred. While there were people and business that attempted to profit
within the first few hours of the attack, such as oil companies, by feeding on the fears of
Americans that we would be experiencing fuel shortages. Local and National News ran stories
during and following the attack on September 11th reporting that local companies raised fuel
prices immediately following the attack, resulting in gas lines. Though I was only five years old
at the time, I was able to see that something was wrong that afternoon when my mother picked
me up and we started home.
Pathos is illustrated when Bush shifts the focus of his speech to the good attributes that
the American people were displaying on this terrible day, such as the emergency responders, the
private citizens that lined up outside of hospitals to donate blood for those that were injured.
Bush offers a distinct comparison of the opposite ends of what we had witnessed that day when
he states And we responded with the best of America, with the daring of our rescue workers,
with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they
could. We saw horrible atrocities inflicted upon our neighbors that were fueled by jealousy,
anger and hate for our country and way of life. By contrast Bush emphasizes how we had reacted
to this terrible attack by showing bravery, selflessness and caring.
He continues by addressing the actions that the government were taking to assist those
who had been injured. Bush assures Americans that day to day business will continue as normal.
Our financial institutions will reopen as usual the next day, which would show that our economy

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had remained strong. He then further assured the American people that immediate actions were
being taken by the government to assure the safety of its citizens, not only on American soil, but
to also protect those Americans, which were currently located in other countries.
Ethos is demonstrated in the speech when Bush stated I implemented our governments
emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and its prepared. Our emergency teams are
working in New York City and Washington D. C. to help with local rescue efforts. This shows
that he is using his authority by taking these actions immediately following the attacks that
occurred on September 11th. He emphasized that he had the full support of Congress in
condemning the attacks, along with the support of our allied nations, in addition to the American
people.
Bush then demonstrates logos when he outlines for the American people the actions that
are underway to identify those individuals, along with their associates, ascertain their location
and to take immediate action in bringing them to justice. He then goes one step further when he
indicates that not only those that actually committed and planned those attacks would be tracked
down, but that any individual, which had assisted or given these individuals refuge were to be
held equally as responsible for the evil actions executed on September 11th.
In closing he once again acknowledges that many peoples worlds had been ripped apart
that day. Children lost their parents, parents lost their children, along with friends and co-workers
being suddenly ripped from our lives with an action of hate. He expressed the loss, which all of
us were experiencing. This action would not go unanswered was his promise to the American
people. There would be justice obtained for these individuals, not retribution. He asked that all of
us join together in prayer to find comfort. He encouraged all Americans to remain strong, to

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comfort each other and hold firm in their resolve to get through this horrible attack on Americans
and our way of life.
Was the speech that Bush delivered effective? Did he obtain the responses from the
American people that he desired? I would have to say that the answer would be yes to both of
these questions. He wanted to express his own reaction to the actions, which were carried out by
the terrorists on September 11th. Bush wanted to show the American people that he connected
with them on a human level, but he also needed to let the American people know that actions
were being taken not only to locate any individual that was responsible for these attacks, but also
steps were being taken to assure no additional attacks of terrorism would not occur on American
soil under his watch. A majority of American people not only felt, but realized that the life we
had previously known had ended. We would never feel the safety that we had taken for granted
before these attacks. Bush acknowledged these fears and assured the public that actions were
being taken to attempt to regain a since of normalcy through our daily lives.

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Works Cited
Peters, Gerhard, and John T. Woolley. "George W. Bush: Address to the Nation on the Terrorist
Attacks." George W. Bush: Address to the Nation on the Terrorist Attacks. The American
Presidency Project, n.d. Web. 08 Feb. 2016. <http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?
pid=58057>.
Bush, George W. Selected Speeches of President George W. Bush (2001-2008): 57-58.
Georgewbush-whitehouse.archives.gov. Whitehousearchives.gov. Web. 08 Feb. 2016.
<http://georgewbush
whitehouse.archives.gov/infocus/bushrecord/documents/Selected_Speeches_George_W_
Bush.pdf>.