Former President George W. Bush made an appeal for unity and honored 9/11 victims during the remembrance ceremony at the Flight 93 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
"In the weeks and months following the 9/11 attacks, I was proud to lead an amazing, resilient, united people. When it comes to the unity of America, those days seem distant from our own," Bush said in a speech this morning.
"Malign force seems at work in our common life that turns every disagreement into an argument, and every argument into a clash of cultures. So much of our politics has become a naked appeal to anger, fear and resentment. That leaves us worried about our nation and our future together. I come without explanations or solutions. I can only tell you what I've seen. On America's day of trial and grief, I saw millions of people instinctively grab for a neighbor's hand and rally to the cause of one another. That is the America I know," he said.
Bush also called on Americans to continue to be vigilant against terrorism both at home and abroad.
"Many Americans struggled to understand why an enemy would hate us with such zeal. The security measures incorporated into our lives are both sources of comfort and reminders of our vulnerability. And we have seen growing evidence that the dangers to our country can come not only across borders but from violence that gathers within. There is little cultural overlap between violent extremists abroad and violent extremists at home. But in their disdain for pluralism, in their disregard for human life, in their determination to defile national symbols, they are children of the same foul spirit. And it is our continuing duty to confront them," Bush said.
Bush also honored the passengers aboard Flight 93.
"This is not mere nostalgia. It is the truest version of ourselves. It is what we have been and what we can be again. 20 years ago, terrorists chose a random group of Americans on a routine flight to be collateral damage in a spectacular act of terror. The 33 passengers and seven crew of Flight 93 could have been any group of citizens selected by fate. In a sense, they stood in for us all. The terrorists soon discovered that a random group of Americans is an exceptional group of people," Bush said.
"Whenever we need hope and inspiration, we can look to the skies and remember," he added.