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We Came Together As a Nation

We Came Together As a Nation

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell met with Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Manley on September 21 to discuss cooperation between the United States and Canada against terrorism, in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York City and the Pentagon. Remarks by Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Manley after their meeting, September 21, 2001, C Street Entrance, Washington, D.C. Source: Washington File (EUR107), U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C., September 24, 2001.

Addressing reporters after their meeting, Powell expressed the United States' gratitude to Canada for its "solid support" in the days immediately following the attacks, and both officials pledged to remain in close contact with one another as their countries work to combat terrorist activity.

Following is the transcript of Powell's and Manley's remarks: (begin transcript)

U.S. Department of State, Office of the Spokesman, September 21, 2001

Remarks By Secretary Of State Colin L. Powell and Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Manley after Their Meeting, September 21, 2001, C Street Entrance, Washington, D.C.

Secretary Powell: Well, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. It has been my great pleasure to welcome my Canadian colleague, John Manley, for another one of the many conversations that we have had in recent months. And it also gave me the opportunity as Secretary of State to thank him and to thank the Canadian people and the Canadian Government, and especially the Prime Minister, for all the solid support that Canada has given to the United States in the days since the 11th of September. It also gave me a chance to express my condolences to those Canadians who lost family members in the World Trade Center.

Canada was one of the first on the scene with all kinds of help for us in this time of crisis. Whether it was taking in some 20-odd thousand airline travelers who were stranded, there was no question about it. Canada welcomed, extended fine Canadian hospitality, took care of them and then finally helped us get those persons on the way to their destination. Canadian fighters assisted us in guarding our air space. Canadian volunteers came to New York to be of help. We had medical support, offers of blood, offers of rescue. Every imaginable offer we received from Canadian brothers and sisters, and the American people will be forever grateful for that offer of support and forever thankful.

And we will never forget the images we saw of the 100,000 Canadians who assembled on Parliament Hill to pay their respects to their American brothers and sisters. This is a sign of the close relationship that exists between our two countries and our two peoples, a relationship that can never be weakened and can only be strengthened in the years ahead.

So, John, it's a great pleasure to have you here, sir. And you might want to say a word.

Foreign Minister Manley: Well, thank you very much. I am also pleased to have had another occasion for us to talk about not only the cooperation we have had, but of our intention to remain firmly at your side as we pursue this campaign against terrorism.

Canadians understand perfectly well that although the attack on September 11th occurred in the United States, it was not directed only against the United States. Canadians not only died in the attack, but every freedom-loving country in the world was also an object of that attack, which would go to undermining the basis upon which all of us enjoy the opportunity to live in liberty.

So Canada remains, as the Prime Minister said to those crowds on Parliament Hill, not just a friend and a neighbor, but at times like this, we're family.

Secretary Powell: We have time for one or two questions.

Question: Mr. Secretary, what do you expect from Canada in terms of the war on terrorism?

Secretary Powell: It's a campaign against terrorism that will have an intelligence component, a law enforcement component; it may have a military component, a financial component as we go at all of the tentacles of terrorist organizations, beginning with al-Qaida. I'm sure that Canada will offer their support in all of these areas, but I do not have specific items that I would like to go down on our list this afternoon. But I'm confident that we will continue to get support.

As you know, Canadian military forces are collocated with American military forces in a number of places out of NORAD in the joint work we do to protect our air space, contractor support aboard American ships. And so wherever we think there is a role that Canada might be able to play in this campaign as we move forward, I know that I can call on my Canadian colleagues to take it under consideration and make a judgment as to whether they can help or not.

And I know they'll be coming to us to ask us for help, because it is a campaign, and they will have to do what is necessary to protect Canada as well.

Question: Is Canada going to (inaudible) security, much the same way as the United States has?

Foreign Minister Manley: Well, certainly I think they want to look at the effect of the appointment of Governor Ridge to this position and make sure, whether the Prime Minister chooses to create such a position or not, that we have developed the appropriate mechanisms in order to liaise directly with him in order that -- particularly that we're in communication on a continuing basis about issues related to border security.

Question: Mr. Secretary, have you had a chance to contemplate how our lives have changed? You have said many times that since September 11 our lives have changed. Have you -- and you, Mr. Manley -- had a chance to think about how our lives in this world have changed?

Secretary Powell: Well, I think our lives have changed. For one thing, we're a little more conscious of security; we're concerned about how to go about protecting all of our facilities and our citizens. I think our lives changed in the sense that we got a better understanding of what's important, and we came together as a nation, we came together as a people, and some of the trivial issues that sometimes divided us were swept away with the magnitude of this tragedy.

But it's also important to remember that we are a people who live in an open society and we don't want the society to become closed. We need people to go back out to stores. We need people to go to movies and theaters. We need to restore a sense of normalcy in our life, while at the same time being mindful of the challenges to our security that exist.

But the terrorists will really have won if they have changed our fundamental way of life. And they won't do that, they can't do that. But at the same time, we have to show an added level of security in order to protect ourselves and to protect our citizens.

Foreign Minister Manley: I think that what I would add to that is that we, for the first time, have seen that an act of devastation that we had previously only seen in wartime and only seen carried out by military forces that were under the direction of a government can be carried out by individuals acting together in a concerted way, and wreak havoc on the free world. Realizing that the nature of the risks that we had and the effect that we could face from those risks is so great is necessarily going to change the way we deal with that risk assessment and the security element in a whole series of ways in our life. The obvious one coming out of that particular disaster is airline safety and security; but undoubtedly it raises for us all a lot of other areas where we're going to look at how well we're doing in ensuring that important assets are secure, and that we're protecting ourselves adequately.

Secretary Powell: Thank you very much.

(end transcript)


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).