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Officials in Alaska united in praise of president's speech

Posted: Friday, September 21, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- Gov. Tony Knowles and other leaders in Alaska praised President Bush's performance Thursday night in his address to a joint session of Congress and a nation deeply shaken by the terrorist attacks.

Knowles said Bush spoke with clarity and authority, calling the nation to greatness in the face of tragedy.

''I applaud the President's leadership and determined words this evening in responding to this crisis,'' Knowles said. ''Since the tragedy of last week, Alaskans have given generously of themselves, with their money, blood and prayers, and we will continue to stand proudly with our fellow Americans as the nation recovers from this tragedy and responds to the cancer of terrorism.''

Anchorage Mayor George Wuerch said he was impressed that Bush called for unity but cautioned against condemning all Muslims.

''This was a message of liberty and freedom, a call to the people of America to take pride in their country, their democracy, recognizing the public's willingness to rally to defend freedom,'' Wuerch said. ''I thought he did a great job.''

Alaska House Speaker Brian Porter, R-Anchorage, said he couldn't recall a recent time when he was more inspired.

''The line that I liked was 'Whether we bring justice to enemies or enemies to justice,''' Porter said. ''I would like to see our legislature work in the harmony I think our Senate and Congress are going to work in over the next year. I think (the bipartisanship) is going to last quite a while.

''I hope we are similarly inspired.''

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