Spontaneous chants roared from the crowd of rescue workers on September 14, 2001, three days after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, as President George W. Bush stood at Ground Zero and, with bullhorn in hand, said the words that were heard around the world:
President Bush: Thank you all. I want you all to know — it can’t go any louder (referring to the bullhorn) — I want you all to know that America today is on bended knee, in prayer for the people whose lives were lost here, for the workers who work here, for the families who mourn. The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens.
Rescue Worker: I can’t hear you!
President Bush: I can hear you! I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people — and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.
Rescue Workers: (Roar from the crowd) USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
President Bush: The nation sends its love and compassion …
Rescue Worker: God bless America!
President Bush: … to everybody who is here. Thank you for your hard work. Thank you for making the nation proud, and may God bless America.
Rescue Workers: (Chanting) USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
It was a moment that uplifted the nation and brought American solidarity. May we never forget.