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Statement of Dennis W. Archer, President,
American Bar Association

Remembering September 11, 2001

September 11, 2003 - We reflect today on the calamitous events that befell our country two years ago. We remember the victims and take heart that, despite the devastation, Americans came through with unfailing love for their country and a staunch commitment to democracy.

Our nation continues to face challenges. U.S. troops are stationed abroad, both to guard against terrorist threats and to secure the peace. We constantly are reminded of the tremendous sacrifice that our troops make every day, in every moment, to prevent and defend against terrorist attacks. We owe a great debt of gratitude to the men and women who serve this country, to their selfless commitment, their fortitude, and their unwavering dedication.

In the legal community, our commitment to protecting America's values - and the commitment of lawyers, judges, lawmakers and others both in the Administration and in the legal profession in general - has never been stronger.

While finding the appropriate balance between fighting the war and preserving our values and freedoms is a challenging process, one thing remains clear: in balancing security and liberty we must be careful that we do not trample upon our values in the rush to protect them. Our democracy is strong precisely because of those freedoms. As new challenges confront us, I am confident that we can meet them, and that we will emerge from the debates and differences stronger, and better able to meet the next challenge.

Remember that, as lawyers, we have a duty and obligation to uphold principles that have led Americans for generations: Allegiance to democracy, faith in the rule of law, confidence in our system of justice, and preservation of our rights and liberties.

May God bless our U.S. troops and God bless America.