Tuesday, August 30, 2005 | President Bush vowed today that the United States would triumph over terrorism, just as it triumphed over imperial Japan in World War II.

“In war, America called you from your farms and your schools and your factories to defeat two of the most ruthless armies the world has known,” Bush told World War II veterans in a 34-minute speech at Naval Air Station North Island.

“In victory, America counted on you to extend a helping hand to lift up a defeated foe. In the lasting peace that has been your greatest legacy, America confirmed the power of freedom to transform the bitterest of enemies into the closest of friends.”

The speech commemorated the formal Japanese surrender to Allied forces on Sept. 2, 1945, during a ceremony aboard the USS Missouri while the battleship was anchored in Tokyo Bay.

The president compared the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor with the terror strikes of 9/11.

“As we mark this anniversary, we are again a nation at war,” Bush said.

“Once again, war came to our shores in a surprise attack that killed thousands in cold blood. Once again, we face determined enemies who follow a ruthless ideology that despises everything America stands for.

“Once again, America and her allies are waging a global campaign with forces deployed on virtually every continent. And once again, we will not rest until victory is America’s, and our freedom is secure.”

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-El Cajon., and about 1,000 sailors and officers waited for the president’s arrival at the base this morning. On hand were five Medal of Honor recipients and Sybil Stockdale, widow of Adm. James Stockdale, a Coronado resident and Medal of Honor winner who was held as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for seven and a half years.

The president was scheduled to visit the Naval Medical Center San Diego in Balboa Park before leaving town, White House officials said.

-Voice staff and wire reports

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