The American Civil Liberties Union joins the nation today in grieving over the devastating loss of life resulting from the joint attacks against the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the crash of the airplane outside of Pittsburgh.
We strongly applaud the words of our national leaders who, in reaction to this unparalleled tragedy, have promised to preserve the free and open society that has made this nation great.
We welcome, in particular, the eloquent words of President Bush who told the nation last night that, "America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining."
Similarly, Attorney General John Ashcroft pledged that, "the determination of these terrorists will not deter the determination of the American people. We are survivors, and freedom is a survivor. A free American people will not be intimidated, nor will we be defeated."
In the difficult days ahead, the ACLU will work with our nation's leaders to help the nation achieve its goal of protecting the security and freedom of all people in America.
We will urge our leaders to continue to uphold the principles of liberty the nation holds dear as they pursue those responsible for this devastating attack on American soil.
Finally, we take a measure of comfort in the fact that one of the greatest symbols of freedom and democracy in our nation still stands: through the billowing smoke of destruction in lower Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty lifts her torch to freedom. Long may she survive.
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