President Barack Obama urged Americans on Saturday to recall the spirit that united the country after the Sept. 11 attacks and take part in a national day of service to mark the anniversary next month.
In remarks acknowledging the "great challenges" that confront the US economy, and could hurt his reelection chances next year, Obama also sought to rise above the partisan political rancor that has divided Washington all summer.
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"As we mark this solemn anniversary, let's summon that spirit once more. And let's show that the sense of common purpose that we need in America doesn't have to be a fleeting moment; it can be a lasting virtue," Obama said in his weekly radio address.
With US unemployment stuck above 9 percent, Democrat Obama is fighting
for more measures to boost growth and hiring but has been thwarted so
far by Republicans in Congress, who control the US House of
He will unveil a package of employment-creating measures in a major jobs
speech after the Sept. 5 Labor Day holiday which White House aides say
will contain a number of new proposals.
Obama and his wife Michelle will mark the 10th anniversary of the
attacks by visiting Ground Zero in New York, the Pentagon, and the site
in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where the fourth hijacked airline crashed
after its passengers .
"But even if you can't be in New York, Pennsylvania or Virginia, every
American can be part of this anniversary. Once again, 9/11 will be a
National Day of Service and Remembrance," Obama said.
The attacks, blamed on Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda extremist network,
killed nearly 3,000 people in September 2001. Bin Laden was killed
earlier this year in an attack on his compound in Pakistan and his
network has been splintered and weakened by repeated attacks by allied
western forces in recent years.