‘One person can make a difference’

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“I want to assure you that I will do everything in my power to protect us – and our way of life. Ben Franklin said, “Those that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Liberty is a precious gift. It is what the terrorists fear most – what they hate most – and what they tried to take away from us on September 11th.

“We must reject the false choice of liberty versus security. We can and we must have both. We will be safe. And we will not let the terrorists change our essential way of life.

“All Americans, not just those of us living in Penn’s Woods, are inheritors of William Penn’s legacy of religious tolerance. To those Americans who would lash out at your fellow citizens simply because they worship differently – or dress differently – or look differently than you – there is a word for such behavior. Terrorism. And it must stop.

“Our fight against terrorism will not be an easy one. It will require vigilance, and resolve, and patient cooperation. And, above all, your help. If we are to protect all Americans, then all Americans must get involved.

“Not all of us can work at the Office of Homeland Security. But we all have a role to play.

“Don’t ever doubt that one person can make a difference. One person, working in his small study in Philadelphia, wrote the Declaration of Independence, a document that would inspire freedom-loving people for all time. And one person on Flight 93 – joined by one more person, then another, and another – kept the hijackers from completing their mission to destroy our freedom.

“So, to answer the question I have heard so often from Pennsylvanians over the past 21 days – “What can I do?” – I say, do what you’re doing now. Just do it a little better.

“If you volunteer, volunteer more. If you’re a student, try harder to learn. If you have children, be a more loving mom or dad. If we all do that – and if we do it together – we will build a stronger Commonwealth and a stronger country. And that will be more than enough.”

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