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Bush: U.S. still in danger, but strong

'They will not take this country down'

Students in many parts of the United States joined Friday in a simultaneous Pledge of Allegiance.  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush said on Friday that the United States is "still in danger" of more terrorist attacks. But he said America remains strong and terrorists "will not take this country down."

More than 100,000 public and private schools across the United States were urged to participate in a simultaneous recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance at 2 p.m. EDT.

Officials estimated that as many as 52 million children may have participated. Members of the House of Representative on Capitol Hill also repeated the pledge.

Shortly before Bush spoke, another person's exposure to anthrax was confirmed -- the fourth such exposure in the past 10 days.

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This latest patient is an NBC "Nightly News" employee in New York who received mail containing a suspicious white powder on the third floor of Rockefeller Center in Manhattan.

The previous three cases were in South Florida at American Media, offices of the supermarket tabloid The Sun.

Speaking of the new anthrax diagnosis, Bush said, "That has got to cause concern for our nation, but I want everybody in the country to know we are responding rapidly."

The president's comments were made at a National Hispanic Heritage Month gathering at the White House. Several Hispanic entertainers performed during the presentation, led by singer Gloria Estefan. Bush signed an executive order during the event designed to improve education for Hispanic students.

Bush said personnel with the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are on the scene responding to the latest case of anthrax. He emphasized that the NBC employee is reported to be "doing well" and that her exposure to anthrax was not "enough to cause death, thank God."

"Our nation is still in danger," Bush said, "but the government is doing everything in our power to protect our citizenry."

Members of the House of Representatives at the Capitol in Washington were among those participating in Friday's mass recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Members of the House of Representatives at the Capitol in Washington were among those participating in Friday's mass recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.  

The president urged Americans to "go about their lives" -- go to work, attend a ballgame or sing "with joy."

"We cannot let the terrorists lock our country down. We can't let terrorists, a few evildoers, hold us hostage," he said. "They will not take this country down."

Bush added: "This is a time of great national unity. The evil ones struck, but they forgot who they were striking, evidently. They thought they were going to weaken us, but they didn't."


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