President Barack Obama is calling for the nation to come together on the anniversary of 9/11 and look to a shared future, even while reflecting on a decade filled with strife.
"It's clear for all the world to see-- the terrorists who attacked us that September morning are no match for the character of our people, the resilience of our nation, or the endurance of our values,'' the president said Saturday in his weekly radio and Internet address a day ahead of the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
"We're doing everything in our power to protect our people,'' he said. "And no matter what comes our way, as a resilient nation, we will carry on.''
Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will be in New York City Sunday morning to visit ground zero. He will also visit Shanksville, Pa., and the Pentagon, the two other sites where hijacked planes struck.
He will end his day delivering evening remarks at a memorial at the Kennedy Center in Washington.
Obama sought to strike a balance between remembering and moving forward, while also trying to summon the feeling of unity that existed during those dark days after terrorists attacked the country.
"Yes, we face a determined foe, and make no mistake-- they will keep trying to hit us again,'' Obama said. "But as we are showing again this weekend, we remain vigilant. We're doing everything in our power to protect our people.''
Intelligence officials have been working around the clock to determine the validity of a new threat of a possible al-Qaida attack on New York or Washington timed to coincide with the 9/11 anniversary.
"But even as we put relentless pressure on al-Qaida, we're ending the war in Iraq and beginning to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. Because after a hard decade of war, it is time for nation-building here at home.''
Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who led New York in the days after the attacks, struck some of the same themes in the GOP's weekly address. He said the terrorists achieved their goal of killing Americans, but failed to destroy the American spirit.
"The country was not broken, but rather, it was more united in the days after Sept. 11 than at any time in my lifetime,'' Giuliani said. "We displayed heroic spirit in many ways, but perhaps the most heroic was the unity of spirit that we shared as Americans. The American people demonstrated one of the most basic values that we share--our love of freedom and the value we place on individual human life.''
But without mentioning Obama by name, Giuliani also used his address to criticize the administration's policies, saying that America is safer, but not as safe as it should be. He condemned plans to remove troops from Iraq and Afghanistan under a timetable,
saying, "American security requires a long-term military presence in the part of the world, where people and organizations are plotting to kill us.''
"Perhaps the most dangerous impulse we've developed since Sept. 11 is impatience demonstrated by the calls to put our armed forces on timetables,'' Giuliani said.
"We must not allow impatience to prevent our military from achieving its objective in Iraq and Afghanistan and the objective is the elimination of the threat to our nation,'' he said.
Copyright Associated Press / NBC New York