Bush speaks to area crowd
know what the terrorists were thinking. . .'
he tells gathering at Oak Park High School
Several Platte County citizens and leaders gathered son
Tuesday to have their sense of security reassured by the
man in position to do the most assuringthe President
of the United States.
President George W. Bush addressed a crowd of several
hundred people for approximately 35 minutes in the full
gymnasium of Oak Park High School in the Northland, focusing
on America post-Sept. 11 and his proposed Cabinet-level
Homeland Security Department.
"I don't know what was going through the heads of
the terrorists," Bush said as he began his speech.
"They must've thought that Americans were so materialistic
that we'd just file a couple lawsuits. But we love freedom
and if someone takes it away from us, we will respond."
President Bush spoke in limited detail about his response
to the terrorismthe Homeland Security proposal.
He went on to emphasize the need to streamline government
and "align government functions."
"Right now, there are 100 different government entities
responsible for homeland security. I want more accountability
than that, because I know who the American people will
hold accountable if something happens," Bush said.
With the development of the Homeland Security plan, Bush
hopes to create more accountability by grouping these
100-plus entities together under the umbrella of one department.
This department will then take on four main responsibilities
of Homeland Securityprotecting the border, supporting
first responders (firefighters, paramedics, police, etc.),
weapon detection, and intelligence.
The prevention of something happening is the responsibility
of everyone, President Bush made clear.
"When people ask what they can do to help, I tell
them: love your neighbor like you would like to be loved
The federal government will also rely on local leaders
to prevent future terrorist attacks.
"We don't have all the smarts in Washington,"
the President said.
Many Platte County leaders were on hand to hear the President's
message. County commissioners Betty Knight, Michael Short,
and Steve Wegner were all in attendance, as was Platte
City Mayor Dave Brooks.
Congressman Sam Graves was also announced to strong applause.
"Sam must have some cousins in the audience,"
While in town, President Bush toured a Kansas City water