Obama Speech

Topics: United States, Al-Qaeda, September 11 attacks Pages: 7 (2032 words) Published: December 15, 2013
Barack Obama Speech Notes
Paragraph 1:
President Obama begins his speech in a direct, strong manner, emphasizing the importance of the issue at hand; the immediacy of his statement conveys a serious tone.  His use of words such as “terrorist” and “murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children” (loaded language) support the rightness of the President’s actions, as well as appeal to the emotions of his audience (emotional appeal, pathos). Paragraph 2: 

President Obama provides background/context for the current occasion, reminding his audience of the tragedies that took place on 9/11.  The specificity of his details and the imagery focus on key memories that all Americans share, thereby justifying his actions for the American people, and reminding all of us of the devastation on 9/11. The imagery of “cloudless September sky” is contrasted with the Twin Towers collapsing and the wreckage of Flight 93 to dramatic effect.  The President also takes the opportunity in the last sentence to recognize the heroism of fellow Americans (emotional appeal and ethical appeal/ethos). Paragraph 3

: The transition words “And yet” effectively introduce a contrasting set of images, “more quiet” images that would not necessarily occur to the American public at first thought—the repercussions and lingering effects of the violent events on that historic day.  Words such as “children,” “mother,” “father,” “parents” establish common ground with members of his audience, all of whom have families.  His decision to use the precise number, “3, 000,” is wise, pointing out the gravity of the attack.  Were the President to use “many citizens” instead, the effect would not be as powerful.  “Gaping hole in our hearts” intensifies the emotion, and the use of the pronoun “our” helps strengthen the bonds of all Americans as a result of this tragedy. Paragraph 4:

President Obama continues his theme of unity and the goodness of the American people, as well as our common ground by using words such as “ties to each other,” “love of community," and “united as one American family.”  He also recognizes and celebrates the diversity of America (religiously and ethnically): "no matter what God we prayed to, or what race or ethnicity we were."  He is appealing to the range of our American experience, celebrating our greatness: out of many, we are one (the American motto on the Seal of the United States), the metaphor of the American melting pot. Paragraph 5:

By beginning his paragraph with “We are also united,” President Obama affirms the resolve of the American people.  Loaded language such as “vicious” and “killing innocents” adds to the emotional impact.  The last sentence, with the words, “to protect our citizens, our friends, and our allies” conveys the idea that the 9/11 attack was an attack on not just America, but on the world.  The President is stating his commitment to our allies, proving he is concerned not just about Americans, but about the world (ethical appeal).  He is also assuring the foreign audience, who is listening to his speech, that America will continue to strengthen bonds and assist allies as necessary. Paragraph 6:

In this paragraph, President Obama is explaining and celebrating all the work that has gone into the pursuit of bin Laden with specific, concrete references to inroads made in the war against terror: "strengthened our homeland defence," "removed the Taliban government."   He is pointing out the success thus far, crediting other nation states for their help as well.  He is demonstrating his awareness that an important part of his audience is from other nations.  He is also delivering a message to al Qaeda terrorists that Americans are persistent, implying that even if it takes ten years, America and its allies will continue to pursue their enemies until justice is served. Paragraph 7: 

In this paragraph, President Obama is emphasizing that although great work had been done in the past ten years against...
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