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9/11: In the face of terrorism, how we respond matters. We cannot give in to those who would divide us -Barack Obama

9/11: In the face of terrorism, how we respond matters. We cannot give in to those who would divide us -Barack Obama

USA

It is fifteen years since the U.S’ Twin Towers in New York were reduced to rubble, following a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda. 2996 people lost their lives on that day, with over 6000 injured.

US citizens including the country’s head of state Barack Obama paid homage to victims and their families. In his speech Obama said that the “terrorist threat has evolved” and urged Americans to examine how they responded to the threat.

“A lot has changed over these past 15 years. We’ve delivered devastating blows to the al Qaeda leaders that attacked us on 9/11. We delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. We’ve strengthened our homeland security. We’ve prevented attacks. We’ve saved lives,” he said.

He added that: “At the same time, the terrorist threat has evolved, as we’ve seen so tragically from Boston to Chattanooga, from San Bernardino to Orlando. So in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and beyond, we’ll stay relentless against terrorists like al Qaeda and ISIL. We will destroy them and we’ll keep doing everything in our power to protect our homeland.

As we reflect on these past 15 years, it’s also important to remember what has not changed, the core values that define us as Americans. The resilience that sustains us. After all, terrorists will never be able to defeat the United States. Their only hope is to terrorize us into changing who we are or our way of life. That’s why we Americans will never give in to fear and it’s why this weekend we remember the true spirit of 9/11. We’re still the America of heroes who ran into harm’s way; of ordinary folks who took down the hijackers; of families who turned their pain into hope. We are still the America that looks out for one another, bound by our shared belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper”.

Twitter was also abuzz with mixed feelings towards the remembrance day:

twitter-tweet” data-lang=“en”>

Waiting for the “Muslims shouldnt celebrate Eid this year in solidarity with 9/11. Instead they should throw away their hijabs” tweets

— Sincere إبراهيم (@IbrahimSincere) August 30, 2016

Critics however echoed Obama’s stance saying that in as much as the US has not suffered the devastating 9/11 attacks again, citing progress in how the country protects its homelands, the ever increasing international terrorism threaten international systems and the alliances that the U.S. depends on for its prosperity and security, urging the US to confront those issues head on.

Reuters