The Prime Minister's words
Saturday, September 15, 2001
The following is the text of a statement by Prime Minister Jean Chrétien yesterday to U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci:
Mr. Ambassador, you have assembled before you, here on Parliament Hill and right across Canada, a people united in outrage, in grief, in compassion, and in resolve. A people of every faith and nationality to be found on earth.
A people who, as a result of the atrocity committed against the United States on September 11, 2001, feel not only like neighbours, but like family.
At a time like this, words fail us. We reel before the blunt and terrible reality of the evil we have just witnessed. We cannot stop the tears of grief. We cannot bring back lost wives and husbands. Sons and daughters. American citizens, Canadian citizens, citizens from all over the world. We cannot restore futures that have been cut terribly short.
At a time like this, the only saving grace is our common humanity and decency. At a time like this, it is our feelings, our prayers and our actions that count.
By their outpouring of concern, sympathy and help, the feelings and actions of Canadians have been clear. And, even as we grieve our own losses, the message they send to the American people is equally clear.
Do not despair. You are not alone. We are with you. The whole world is with you.
The great Martin Luther King, in describing times of trial and tribulation, once said that: "In the end, it is not the words of your enemies that you remember, it is the silence of your friends."
Mr. Ambassador, as your fellow Americans grieve and rebuild, there will be no silence from Canada.
Our friendship has no limit.
Generation after generation, we have travelled many difficult miles together. Side by side, we have lived through many dark times, always firm in our shared resolve to vanquish any threat to freedom and justice.
And together, with our allies, we will defy and defeat the threat that terrorism poses to all civilized nations.
Mr. Ambassador, we will be with the United States every step of the way. As friends. As neighbours. As family.