Seventeen years ago, one of the planes which was highjacked on September 11, 2001, did not reach its destination and instead went down in southwest Pennsylvania.
On Tuesday, President Trump and First Lady Melania visited Shanksville, the crash site of flight United 93, and the president shared a heartfelt commemoration speech on the lives who were lost on that fateful day.
The dignified speech reflected on the bravery of those passengers who resisted their hijacking and prevented the plane from potentially taking thousands of more lives.
“On September 11, 2001, a band of brave patriots turned the tide on our nation’s enemies and joined the immortal ranks of American heroes,” Trump said, as Fox News reports. “At this memorial, on this sacred earth, in the field beyond this wall, and in the skies above our heads, we remember the moment when America fought back.”
“On September 11, 2001, a band of brave patriots turned the tide on our Nation’s enemies and joined the immortal ranks of American heroes.” — President @realDonaldTrump at the Flight 93 September 11 Memorial Service pic.twitter.com/uP6rcSnyUj
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 11, 2018
It was believed the plane could have been heading for the White House or to the U.S. Capitol building.
From Fox News:
The president and first lady Melania Trump visited the hallowed site Tuesday to commemorate the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. They spoke after a new memorial to the victims was dedicated over the weekend.
The 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93 are believed to have prevented a larger attack by fighting back against the terrorists who hijacked the plane.
Trump, in a passionate address, honored the lives lost and their families, saying that their “tears are not shed alone, for they are shared grief with an entire nation.”
“We honor their sacrifice by pledging to never flinch in the face of evil and to do whatever it takes to keep America safe,” Trump said.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) September 11, 2018
Trump described how the group fearlessly rushed the enemy and defended their country from the ensuing terror attack. The heroes gave their lives to save countless others.
“They bravely charged the cockpit. They attacked the enemy. They fought until the very end. And they stopped the forces of terror and defeated this wicked, horrible, evil plan,” Trump continued. “Through their sacrifice, the 40 saved the lives of countless Americans and they saved our Capitol from a devastating strike.”
The president said the hallowed grounds now serve as a “monument to American defiance,” and echo a “message to the world—America will never submit to tyranny.”
“As commander in chief, I will always do everything in my power to prevent terrorists from striking American soil,” Trump added. “17 years ago, 40 incredible men and women showed the whole world that no force on earth will ever conquer the American spirit …We treasure their memory and legacy.”
As Politico reports, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen attended a memorial service at the Pentagon. There, Pence lamented the attack hit the core of the nation. He assured those in attendance that the Trump administration was working to defeat terrorism and prevent any such attack from ever happening again.
“Seventeen years ago today America fell under attack. Nineteen radical Islamic terrorists seized control of four commercial airlines to strike the centers of our economy our military and our national government,” Pence said.
Pence said that while the nation will remember the fallen, the victims will also be honored “by doing everything in our power as a nation to prevent the evil of radical Islamic terrorism from ever reaching our shores again.”
Pence told gatherers who lost loved ones during the attacks that “your nation understands that while we all suffered loss that day that you suffer a special burden.”
He went on to say that “you do not bear that moment alone, the American people stand with you and we always will.”
Ahead of Pence’s remarks, Defense Secretary James Mattis also spoke about the attacks and the bravery first responders subsequently showed.
“We remember that hatred disguised in false religious garb to murder innocents will not prevail,” he said. “Though evil visited us on a cloudless Tuesday morning, courage and strength answered amid the fire and smoke of New York City, over a Pennsylvania meadow and in this very building as innocent people from 91 countries were murdered on our soil.”