Former New York Mayor thanks Oklahoma

Sunday, April 28th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ New York's mayor during the deadliest terrorist attacks in U.S. history said Sept. 11 has made the nation a safer place.

Rudy Giuliani told a Tulsa audience Saturday the attacks on New York, Washington and a plane over Pennsylvania tore away the complacency that had allowed them to happen.

``September 11th lifted a veil that wasn't allowing us to see the world the way it really was,'' Rudy Giuliani said. ``The world was a very dangerous place September 10th. We just weren't paying attention.''

Giuliani also used his speech at a Salvation Army fund-raising banquet to thank Oklahoma for support that was special because of the state's own loss and recovery from the 1995 bombing in downtown Oklahoma City.

Giuliani warned against a return to a belief that the nation is invulnerable.

``There are people who hate us and want to destroy us,'' Giuliani said. ``And we can no longer afford to ignore that fact.''

He said terrorists hate the United States because it stands for freedom _ particularly religious freedom.

``There is no room for compromise,'' Giuliani said, ``because we are right and they are wrong. There is no ambiguity. We are right about freedom. We are right about the rule of law and we are right about democracy. And we must defend it.''

The former mayor began his speech to about 900 by imitating a New York mobster and ended it by thanking Oklahoma for helping his city cope with the destruction of the World Trade Center.

Giuliani said New Yorkers found the strength to go on because of support from the rest of the country.

``The strength did not come from the fact that we were New Yorkers,'' he said. ``It came from the fact that we were Americans.''