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For Immediate Release
Office of the First Lady
September 10, 2002

Mrs. Bush Discusses September 11, 2001: Bearing Witness to History Exhibit
As Delivered
National Museum of American History
Washington, D.C.

Thank you very much, Secretary (Small), for your kind words.

Secretary Powell, Senator Clinton, heroes and families, thank you for coming to the

September 11, 2001: Bearing Witness to History Exhibit.

This exhibit is a growing repository of our collective memories. It tells the story of a nation that gathered great strength, displayed unbridled patriotism and showed the world the meaning of heroism and hope.

It gives visitors a place to reflect on the past, to mourn and to honor those who died and those who survived the horrible experience in Washington, Pennsylvania, and New York City. All have names and people who love them. We value each of those lives.

On September 11, Americans were called upon to care for and serve one another-to fill lives with comfort and hope. We rose to the occasion.

I know many of you have felt very deeply and directly the compassion of America since September 11.

I have seen it as well. Over the past year I have traveled from Sommerset County to Salt Lake City; from Los Angeles to Atlanta; and in every place I have seen patriotism at its best; courage at its finest; and faith at its strongest.

All Americans share the grief of everyone here today, as we share a sense of purpose- to restore our lives, and reassure the world that peace-loving people will prevail.

As you mourn here or in the privacy of your own homes, know that you are not alone.

This exhibit is an account of the worst and best of human nature. And it is a place of hope. That hope is real, and it is forever, just as the love we share with the heroes-both here and beyond-is forever.

Americans will always remember what happened on September 11. We cannot ease the pain, but we can redouble our efforts to ensure that our lives have meaning and that liberty and justice prevail.

President Bush and I are grateful for every person who has reached out with gratitude, sympathy and acts of kindness. We thank the Smithsonian - America's museum - for helping us bear witness to the events of September 11.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this important collection - the donors, curators and staff. God bless you. And God Bless America.


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