Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Gov. Rick Perry's Remarks at the Flag Unfurling Ceremony after September 11, 2001

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Friday, September 14, 2001  •  Speech

Today America continues to pray and America continues to mourn. But today, America also professes its great national pride. From sea to shining sea, on car antennas and in office windows, on rooftops and at courthouse squares, on scaffolding that overlooks the rubble of tragedy: the red, white and blue of the American Flag waves as a beacon of freedom for all the world to see.

As proud Texans, and proud Americans, we join our fellow freedom-loving citizens in this display of American Spirit by draping this proud symbol at the entrance of our Texas State Capitol. We raise this flag to tell the world our spirits are high. We raise this flag because we are determined, not demoralized, we raise this flag because we love freedom, and we will overcome any and all who seek to extinguish the lamp of liberty. The American Spirit has seldom been so visible in our history.

Today I am proud to stand with fire fighters, police officers, and military personnel, men and women who epitomize the American Spirit of love and sacrifice and who are part of that fraternity of sacrifice. When others retreat from danger, they run straight into it stopping not one second to count the cost. We are strong because they are bold. I am also proud to live in a state of compassionate people who have given generously to help our citizens in need. While we have heard reports of unsavory activity, we know there have been multitudes more who have outstretched a helping hand to fellow Americans in need. Just yesterday, over a four-hour period, the people of Central Texas contributed more than one hundred thousand dollars to the relief effort. Down the street, stranded travelers can find a place to rest their head at a discounted rate because of the kindness of the Four Seasons. There are countless other examples of generous support. That is the spirit of America, a place where citizens come to the rescue of the weary and the devastated, where the needs of others come before the needs of self, where the sacrifice of life and limb are called “duty to your fellow man.”

In the three days since this terrible attack, our hearts remain heavy. But we are here today to also say our spirits are high. The red, white and blue continues to hang over this land, even in a darkened sky. It is the symbol of our freedom, and today we proclaim it proudly. May it always hang over this land, and may all who live under its shadow know that freedom is alive and well on the face of the earth.

Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.

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