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A horrendous act of terrorism was perpetrated on the American people on September 11, 2001, and our lives will never be the same. If no other good comes out of the atrocities we witnessed on that fateful day, I hope that our country will begin to understand its place in history and its obligation as the most powerful nation on the face of the earth: to promote and defend the freedom to live and worship as one chooses. I hope that we will never take that freedom for granted again.

President Bush has made it perfectly clear that terrorist organizations, such as al Qaeda, are threats to the peace and stability of this planet that must be neutralized. That statement applies equally to a multitude of other terrorist groups and nations who harbor them as well.

On October 7, 2001, America began a war on terrorism with a military campaign against the oppressive Taliban regime in Afghanistan. While our success in Afghanistan was swift, the terrorist attacks against our troops in Kuwait, against Australian tourists in Bali, and Israelis in Kenya in 2002 have reminded us that this war is far from over.

Though our country has been successful since September 11, 2001, on the international front, I can assure you that both Congress and President Bush are also working diligently to ensure that no effort against terrorism will come at a price of constitutional liberties. We cannot sacrifice the freedoms for which so many Americans have died during the history of this country. Without taking proactive steps to eradicate terrorist activities, however, I fear that we fail in our responsibility and compromise those very liberties by allowing the forces of terrorism to reign supreme over the citizens of the United States.

I remain committed to America's campaign against terrorism, and I believe we are in this fight for all of the right reasons. I will not back down to terrorist threats, nor will I compromise the security of this country by returning to the sense of complacency exhibited in the past. With President Bush's leadership, I am confident that we will prevail in this endeavor, and that America, along with her allies, will punish those who seek to harm our people.

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