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).
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).
: 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.
President Obama continues his theme of unity and the goodness of the American people, as well as our common