Bush talks about changed culture, stumps for Chocola

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- The heroism of those who died aboard United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed in a Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11 changed the culture of America, President Bush said Thursday.

He called the bravery of those passengers a vivid reminder of what makes America great.

''It's that willingness to serve something greater than yourself in life, which is a part of this great country's soul and fabric,'' Bush told a crowd of 5,000 people gathered for a rally at South Bend Regional Airport.

''When the enemy hit us, they didn't know who they were hitting,'' Bush said. ''Now the evil done to America is going to become something incredibly good.''

Bush said the key is to work on behalf of others while taking responsibility for your own life and decisions.

''If you live in South Bend, Ind., you are responsible for the quality of education. You are responsible for the public schools. You are responsible for making sure of your faith-based groups, if they are looking for help, to join. You are responsible for helping feed the hungry.''

The crowd, gathered in a giant hangar, responded enthusiastically to the president from the time they let out a loud cheer when they saw Air Force One land.

Later in the day, several hundred protesters rallied at a park across the St. Joseph River from the Century Center, where Bush attended a fund-raiser. The rally was sponsored by the AFL-CIO and attended by United Auto Worker members, steel workers and ironworkers and environmentalists.

Many carried signs, with sayings such as: ''Love your neighbor,'' ''Use the U.N.'' and ''No war with Iraq.''

Much of Bush's speech at the airport centered on terrorism and homeland security. He discussed the need to track immigrants who enter the United States and to make sure they don't stay longer than they are supposed to.

Bush also told the crowd that he will ask Congress and other countries how to deal with Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

''I want the American people to fully understand all the consequences. That is why there is a debate here nationally. That is why there is going to be a lot of discussion,'' he said.

Bush said America must come together to become a safer place. The first challenge is to ensure economic security. He said lower taxes can help with that by creating more jobs.

He also talked about the need for a national energy policy and the need to permanently eliminate the estate tax.

''The death tax is bad for Indiana farmers, it's bad for Indiana ranchers, it's bad for Indiana small-business owners.''

Bush later attended a fund-raiser for Republican congressional candidate Chris Chocola, chairman of farm equipment maker CTB International Corp. The event, which cost $250 to attend and $4,000 to have a picture taken with the president, raised more than $650,000 for Chocola and the state Republican Party, party officials said.

Speaking at the fund-raiser, Bush said of Chocola: ''We need people in Washington who have met a payroll.''

The newly drawn 2nd District seat, represented by retiring Democratic Rep. Tim Roemer for the past 12 years, is considered a key swing district in November as Republicans try to retain control of the House.

Both national parties are focusing on the race between Chocola and Democrat Jill Long Thompson, and the economy is expected to play a key role because the northern Indiana district depends heavily on durable goods, a sector of the economy hard hit by the recession.

It was Bush's second stop in South Bend in 15 months. In May 2001, Bush gave the commencement speech at the University of Notre Dame. During his presidential campaign two years ago, Bush also made a brief campaign stop for Chocola.

When Vice President Dick Cheney made a campaign stop in South Bend in May, he helped Chocola to raise $250,000.

At the union rally, Long Thompson told the crowd that the differences between she and Chocola are clear on many issues, including Social Security and trade. She also pointed out the amount of money the Bush administration has helped him raise.

''He's got the money, but I've got you,'' she said.

AP-CS-09-05-02 2116EDT


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