President Trump Participate in a September 11th Pentagon Observance Ceremony

well thank you very much secretary Esper today our nation honors and mourns the nearly 3,000 lives that were stolen from us on September 11th 2001 all these grounds 184 people were murdered when al Qaeda terrorists overtook American Airlines flight 77 and crashed it into the Pentagon for every American to live through that day the September 11th attack is seared into our soul it was a day filled with shock horror sorrow and righteous fury I vividly remember when I first heard the news I was sitting at home watching a major business television show early that morning Jack Welch the legendary head of General Electric was about to be interviewed when all of a sudden they cut away at first there were different reports it was a boiler fire but I knew that boilers aren’t at the top of a building it was a kitchen explosion in windows on the world nobody really knew what happened there was great confusion I was looking out of a window from a building in midtown Manhattan directly at the World Trade Center when I saw a second plane at a tremendous speed go into the second tower it was then that I realized the world was going to change I was no longer going to be and it could never ever be that innocent place that I thought it was soon after I went down to Ground Zero with men who worked for me to try to help in any little way that we could we were not alone so many others were scattered around trying to do the same they were all trying to help but for the families who join us this is your anniversary of personal and permanent loss it’s the day that has replayed in your memory a thousand times over the last kiss the last phone call the last time hearing those precious words I love you then the attack the anguish of knowing your family member had boarded one of these flights or was working in the World Trade Center we’re serving right here at the Pentagon you waited you prayed you answered that most dreaded call and your life changed forever to each of you the first lady and I are United with you in grief we come here in the knowledge that we cannot erase the pain or reverse the evil of that dark and wretched day but we offer you all that we have our unwavering loyalty our undying devotion and our eternal pledge that your loved ones will never ever be forgotten 18 years ago the terrorists struck this Citadel of power and American strength but the enemy soon learned that they could not weaken the spirit of our people in times of distress the heart of the American patriot only grows stronger and more determined even in the midst of the attack the world witnessed the awesome power of American defiance 40 passengers and crew on flight 93 rose up fought back and thwarted the enemy’s wicked plans in their final moments these American heroes thunderously declared that we alone decide our fate we saw American perseverance in the valiant New York firefighters police officers first responders military and everyday citizens who raced into the crashing towers to rescue innocent people one such American was retired Army colonel Rick West corrala who gave his life on 9/11 Rick earned the Silver Star and the Purple Heart for his service in Vietnam he later became the vice president for security at Morgan Stanley in the World Trade Center on the day of the attack Rick died while leading countless others to safety his selfless actions saved approximately 2,700 lives today I’m honored to announce that we will soon be awarding the Lake Ric Rescorla the presidential citizens medal for his extraordinary sacrifice though rick has left this earth we will ensure that the memory of his deeds will never ever be forgotten his memory will forever endure thank you thank you Rick thank you Rick Thank You Rick here on the western side of the Pentagon we saw brave men and women rush into the fire and race into these scorching flames to rescue their colleagues when evil seeks to do us harm the incredible men and women of the United States military answer with unyielding valor and unstoppable resolve Navy admiral David Thomas crawled through live wires and helped lift a wall of debris to save the life of a colleague as Admiral Thomas remembers it was the worst day of my life but the heroism and selflessness regard I saw that horrible morning is forever burned in my heart Admiral Thomas America salutes you and every Patriot who defied evil that day thank you very much thank you very much Army Ranger Chris Braman repeatedly went back inside the burning building rescuing one injured person after another before he entered he said a prayer and asked God to give him strength and then he dove into the suffocating smoke and fumes and flames at the same time Sheila moody had just prayed that someone would find her then she heard Chris’s voice as Sheila says God said Chris as her guardian angel to Sheila and Chris America is strengthened by your goodness and your grace and your bravery thank you very much thank you thank you very much to fulfill our unbreakable promise to every survivor and family of 9/11 earlier this year we fully reauthorize the Victims Compensation Fund to the tune of billions and billions of dollars since September 11th nearly six million young men and women have joined the United States Armed Forces they have crossed seas climb mountains trekked through deserts and rushed into enemy compounds to face down the threat of radical Islamic terrorism nearly seven thousand servicemembers have laid down their lives to protect our home our flag and our American Way of life American freedom survives only because there are patriots willing to sacrifice everything in its defence no tribute is sufficient to convey the infinite depth of our nation’s gratitude on the solemn day of remembrance our thoughts also turn to the 200,000 valiant soldiers sailors airmen Coast Guardsmen and Marines who are now at this very moment stationed overseas we do not seek conflict but if anyone dares to strike our land we will respond with the full measure of American power and the iron will of the American spirit and that spirit is unbreakable we had peace talks scheduled a few days ago I called them off when I learned that they had killed a great American soldier from Puerto Rico and 11 other innocent people they thought they would use this attack to show strength but actually what they showed is unrelenting weakness the last four days we have hit our enemy harder then they have ever been hit before and that will continue and if for any reason they come back to our country we will go wherever they are and use power the likes of which the United States has never used before and I’m not even talking about nuclear power they will never have seen anything like what will happen to them no enemy on earth can match the overwhelming strength skill and might of the American armed forces and we have rebuilt and strengthened in the last two and a half years spending seven hundred billion dollars seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars and now just approved 738 billion dollars more money by far than ever spent on our armed forces you are the fearless sentinels who stand watch over all that we cherish and everything we hold sacred priceless and dear this morning we also give thanks to the dedicated men and women at the Department of Homeland Security their department was created after 9/11 to help secure our immigration system and ensure that those who threaten our people are denied entry to our shores we’re indebted to every law enforcement official state local and federal who devotes their life to keeping America safe as we gather at this moment and at this incredible memorial we are reminded that there is no greater testament to our fallen heroes than the presence of their families who knew and loved them so much among the family members here today is Stephanie done her husband Navy commander Patrick Dunn was one of the Patriots who gave his life right here 18 years ago before he left that morning Patrick gave Stephanie a big beautiful kiss then for the first time he leaned down and kissed her pregnant stomach Stephanie was just two months along with their first child earlier this year their daughter Allie celebrated her 17th birthday Allie grew up into a strong truly remarkable young woman she mentors the children of our nation’s wounded warriors and recently I was honored to give Allie the president’s volunteer service award for her hundreds of hours of community service we are blessed to have Allie here with us at today’s ceremony Thank You Ali and Allie I know your dad is watching over you he’s right up there he’s watching from heaven looking down right now with love and pride he is so proud of you thank you very much incredible also joining us is the VG anno family for generations the VG anno family has served in our military and in the New York City Fire and Police Department’s these are two great departments I grew up with them I know on September 11th NYPD detective Joseph VG anno rushed into the World Trade Center and died rescuing his fellow citizens his brother John was a New York firefighter he also gave his life that day at Ground Zero at the time Joseph’s three sons were just young boys ages eight six and three months old this morning they are with us the youngest John just started his freshman year of college at SUNY maritime college and he plans to join the military Joseph jr. is a marine reservist and just like his father he is a proud member of the NYPD and James is a corporal in the Marines on his last deployment James was stationed on the USS New York a ship made using 24 tons of steel from the World Trade Center every time he left the mess hall on his way to his bunk he passed a picture of his dad to John Joseph and James and to the vigía no family you have sacrificed beyond measure and you will never ever stop giving back to this country and thank you very much for being here thank you very much thank you thank you very proud of you thank you thank you very much the hero’s present today remind us of an immortal truth the future of our nation is secured through the vigilance of our people the brave men and women who tore through the gates of Hell to save the hurt and the wounded the servicemembers who honor the friends who perished by continuing their exceptional life of service the moms and dads who endure the loss of their soul mates and fill their children’s lives with all of the adoration in the world the sons and daughters who suffered grave loss and yet through it all persevere to care for our neighbors defend our homeland and safeguard our nation each of your lives tells the story of courage and character virtue and valor resilience and resolve loyalty and love this morning we make a sacred vow to carry on this noble legacy today and every day we pledge to honor our history to treasure our Liberty to uplift our communities to live up to our values to prove worthy of our heroes and above all stronger than ever to never ever forget we are now and will forever be one American family united by patriotism bound by destiny and sustained by the faith of Almighty God thank you god bless you god bless our military and God bless the United States of America thank you all thank you very much you

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