By Meghashyam Mali - 09/08/12 10:00 AM EDT
President Obama marked the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks by honoring those who have served to keep the country safe and reflecting on “how far we’ve come as a nation.”
“It’s a time to remember the nearly 3,000 innocent men, women and children we lost, and the families they left behind,” said Obama in his weekly address.
“It’s a chance to honor the courage of the first responders who risked their lives – on that day, and every day since. And it’s an opportunity to give thanks for our men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed, sometimes far from home, to keep our country safe,” he added. “This anniversary is about them.”
Obama said “the last decade has been a difficult one,” but the nation had “come back stronger.”
“Thanks to the courage and skill of our intelligence personnel and armed forces, Osama bin Laden will never threaten America again,” he added.
Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Pennsylvania to attend a service at the Flight 93 memorial.
In his address, Obama also cited the end to the war in Iraq and efforts to hand over security in Afghanistan to local forces, saying the moves had “strengthened our alliances while improving our security here at home.”
“Our country is stronger, safer and more respected in the world,” the president said.
At their convention in Charlotte this week, Democrats repeatedly touted the president’s decision to drawdown troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and the decision to authorize the raid which killed al Qaeda leader bin Laden.
“A new tower rises above the New York skyline, al Qaeda is on the path to defeat, and Osama bin Laden is dead,” said Obama in his Thursday convention address.
Democrats believe they hold an edge on national security this election season and last week sharply criticized GOP candidate Mitt Romney for discussing bin Laden in his Tampa convention speech but not mentioning the war in Afghanistan.
Romney on Friday responded to that criticism, saying that he had spoken repeatedly about his “commitment to our military” and accusing the president of overseeing drastic cuts to the defense budget.
In his address Saturday, Obama concluded by saying the legacy of 9/11 was that Americans now knew “with confidence that no adversary and no act of terrorism can change who we are. “
“Let’s remember those we lost, let us reaffirm the values they stood for, and let us keep moving forward as one nation and one people,” said Obama.