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Press Release

Remarks by Douglas H. Paal Director of American Institute in Taiwan Digital Videoconference on "Joel Meyerowitz and Remembering September 11th"

PR0346E | Date: 2003-09-12

First let me thank you for joining us at this early hour to remember the tragic events of 9/11. As I speak this morning, people in the United States and around the world are attending other commemorative events to remember the family, friends, and loved ones that they lost on that terrible day. Although two years have past since those tragic events, which took the innocent lives of thousands in New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia, the citizens of the United States and the people of the world will never forget the images and horror of that day. Only Tuesday, the remains of the last New York firefighter lost in the World Trade Center were laid to rest.

Just as we remember the tragedy, we recall as well the outpouring of compassion and faith that swept our country in the face of the evil done on September 11. Compassion poured in from all over the world; on behalf of the American Institute in Taiwan, I would like to take this opportunity to thank again our friends in Taiwan for their support for the victims of the September 11 attacks and in the ongoing fight against terror.

In his September 7 address to the American people, President Bush said:

"For a generation leading up to September the 11th, 2001, terrorists and their radical allies attacked innocent people in the Middle East and beyond, without facing a sustained and serious response. The terrorists became convinced that free nations were decadent and weak. And they grew bolder, believing that history was on their side. Since America put out the fires of September the 11th and mourned our dead, and went to war, history has taken a different turn. We have carried the fight to our enemy."

Since 9/11, the United States and our allies have captured over 3,000 terrorists around the world, exposed terrorist front groups, seized terrorist assets, and disrupted numerous planned attacks. The bombings in Indonesia this past year were a painful reminder that terrorist attacks can happen anywhere, anytime. We must remain vigilant. We will not back down from this challenge.

We fight terrorism because we must. We seek a better world because we can. United States foreign policy is rooted in the promotion of freedom and dignity throughout the world. Only through the partnerships with our allies and friends around the world can we achieve the global security that allows liberty, prosperity, and peace to become the heritage of all peoples.

Today we have invited Joel Meyerowitz, the internationally renowned photographer of the "After September 11: Images of Ground Zero" exhibit, to discuss his thoughts as both an artist and a New Yorker who lived through those world changing days two years ago. His work documents not only the tragedy, but also the heroism witnessed on September 11th for generations to come. Thank you for coming to take part in this interactive and for joining us in the commemoration of September 11.