Rhetorical Analysis Of 9 / 11 Speech

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On September 11th 2001, the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four airplanes and carried out terrorist attacks against the United States. Two planes were flown into the World Trade Center twin towers. The third hit the Pentagon outside Washington, and the final plane crashed in a field in Pennsylvania. Nearly 3,000 people were killed as a result, and this tragic event defined the presidency of George W. Bush (History.com Staff). Shortly after the attacks, President Bush delivered a powerful speech that helped unify the American people, defy the terrorists, and call the citizens to action. In his 9/11 speech, President Bush successfully uses rhetorical devices to address the terrorism, unite people, and give hope to his audience. The purpose of this speech was, overall, to address the tragic acts of terrorism. President Bush accomplishes this in an informative and effective manner through his elegiac tone throughout the speech. This mournful way of writing gives a respectful and empathetic feeling to the address. This is incredibly important, as many people were feeling grief, loss, fear, and heartache at the time. Another purpose for the speech is to call the American people to action. President Bush, through his use of imperative statements, successfully rallies his audience to action. After describing some upcoming changes to the government, he said “These measures are essential. But the only way to defeat terrorism as a threat to our way of life is to stop it, eliminate it, and destroy it where it grows” (“George Bush Speech”). This imperative statement gets the audience feeling determined to do their part to destroy terrorism. Soon after, he said, “I have a message for our military: Be ready. I’ve called the Armed Forces to alert, and there is a reason. The hour is coming when America will act, and you will make us proud” (“George Bush Speech”). This specifically calls the military to action, which is a critical aspect of the speech. President Bush also uses this speech as an opportunity to thank people who made a difference in the tragic event, saying “I thank the Congress for its leadership at such an important time”, “I thank the world for its outpouring of support”, and, “…I thank you for your
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