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Address to the September 11th Commemoration: United States Embassy, Canberra: 11 September 2006.\n

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11 September 2006



Ambassador and Mrs McCallum, ladies and gentlemen, we gather here this morning on the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attack on the United States and indeed on the entire world that values individual liberty and freedom on the 11th of September 2001. We

gather both in remembrance and reaffirmation. We remember those from many nations, including Australia who lost 10 citizens in the World Trade Centre and was, several years later, to suffer even greater losses in the terrorist attacks in Bali, but also the other nations

who lost citizens on that fateful morning.

It reminds us, of course, that although the attack took place on American soil and was designed deliberately and calculatedly to do great damage to the people of the United States, it was an attack on values that the entire world holds in common. And that is why, in gathering here this morning, we do so not only in remembrance of those who lost their lives, we honour those who risked their lives, and in some cases lost their lives trying to rescue those in both the Pentagon and the World Trade Centre.

But we also gather to reaffirm our commitment both as friends and allies of the people of the United States but also as citizens of the world, to maintain the fight against terrorism. Terrorism is the enemy of all people of goodwill. It is the enemy of all of the great religions of the world; it is a blasphemy on Islam for the name of Islam to be invoked to justify terrorism. It is also the enemy of all the value systems that are important to Australia and the United States.

And speaking here, I know on behalf of all of my fellow Australians, and I know also on behalf of all of you, we think particularly of the losses and suffering of the people of the United States on the 11th of September 2001. And all of us, I know in our different ways and our different approaches, rededicate ourselves to maintain the values that are universal values of individual liberty and dignity, of freedom of association, of freedom

of religion and freedom of thought. And in reaffirming our commitment to maintain the fight against terrorism, we do so in the belief that those universal values will in the end, because they represent the truth of mankind’s existence, they will in the end triumph.