Entering the House chamber to thunderous applause, President George W. Bush addressed a joint session of Congress Thursday night and called on Afghanistan to release Osama bin Laden or share his fate.
In a stirring speech that may be the most important of Bush's career, the president rallied Americans for a long-term war against terrorism, saying that they should have hope for the future and be resolved to fight terrorism throughout the world.
"Great harm has been done to us. We have suffered great loss. And in our grief and anger, we have found our mission and our moment," Bush said. "Freedom and fear are at war. The advance of human freedom, the great achievements of our time and the great hope of every time, now depends on us.
"Our nation, this generation, will lift a dark threat of violence from our people and from our future. We will rally the world to this cause by our efforts, by our courage. We will not tire, we will not falter and we will not fail."
Bush told Congress that the world has seen America at its best after the attacks.
"The people of the world have seen the state of our union, and it is strong," Bush said.
The president said that the people responsible for crashing two planes into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon would be found.
"Our grief has turned to anger, and anger to resolution," Bush said. "Whether we bring our enemies to justice or justice to our enemies, justice will be done."
Bush made several demands of the Taliban, the leaders of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden has been living in Afghanistan and is suspected of plotting the attacks.
The president demanded that the Taliban hand over bin Laden and the leaders of Al Quaeda, bin Laden's group of affiliated terrorist cells. Bush also demanded that Afghanistan dismantle terrorist training camps and give the United States access to the sites of the camps, to confirm that they are gone.
"These demands are not open to negotiation or discussion," Bush said. "They will hand over the terrorists, or they will share in their fate."
Bush said that the United States would undertake a campaign to wipe out terrorism throughout the world. He said that federal and local law enforcement agencies would need to cooperate to prevent terrorist attacks.
To coordinate the effort, Bush created a new Cabinet-level position, the Office of Homeland Security, to be headed by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge.
Bush said that the global campaign against terrorism would be difficult and long.
"Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any we have ever seen," Bush said.
The president called on the armed forces to prepare themselves for battle.
"Tonight, a few miles from the damaged Pentagon, I have a message for our military: Be ready," Bush said. "I've called the armed forces to alert, and there's a reason. The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud."
He called on Americans to be strong in their resolve but continue on with their lives.
"I ask you to live your lives and hug your children," Bush said. "I know many citizens had fears tonight and I ask you to be calm and resolute, even in the face of a continuing threat."
Bush also tried to reach out the world's Muslim population, saying that terrorists like bin Laden do not represent Islam.
"Those who commit evil in the name of Allah, blaspheme the name of Allah," he said.
The president said that the terrorist groups will be consigned to the same historical result as those who practiced Nazism and fascism.
"They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century," Bush said. "They will follow that path all the way to where it ends, in history's unmarked graves of discarded lies."
Bush also set a path for the nations of the world, saying all must come together to stop terrorism.
"Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists," he said.