tv 911 Memorial Service in Shanksville PA CSPAN September 11, 2018 9:38pm-10:58pm EDT
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and tell the inspiring story of 40 amazing heroes. thehis day 17 years ago, passengers and crew members of flight 93 bonded together and prevented their hijacked airplane from reaching its intended target in washington minute flying time this very location. ever since that moment, the special people have been and will this very location. forever be remembered as citizensxtraordinary who showed incredible courage under fire. on sunday, we dedicated the tower of voices located at the entrance to the park. it was an inspiring and powerful ceremony as we remembered their voices through an iconic
cathedral serving as our welcoming beacon to this place. symbolically, these chines will -- chimes will forever provide a voice for our heroes. us,r voices are still with comforting those who mourn encouraging us to follow in their footsteps. that being putting others us, comforting those whoonesself. they truly sacrificed their own lives to save so many. before ladies and gentlemen, i would like to acknowledge the dignitaries and special guests who have joined us today. thank you for visiting with us this morning for the annual observance. i extend a special thank you to the many volunteers and ambassadors of flight 93 who told this story to our park visitors to better understand
this incredible story of what 93.rred aboard flight recognizeso like to the entire crew at the uss somerset and all members of our military, those who have served and those who are currently serving this great nation both here at home and around the world. >> [applause] also a special thank you to all of our law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and first responders for putting their neighbors before themselves each and every day. ever since the events of september 11 2001 -- >thank you very much. >> [applause]
stephen: ever since the events localtember 11, 2001, our communities have provided tremendous and unwavering's court to the development of this memorial. for that we are eternally grateful, and of course we welcome and thank the families being with usor today as we honor the memories s. your loved one i am honored to have on stage with me the president of the united states of america, donald j trump. [cheers and applause]
mr. gordon felt. >> [applause] and finally, we are so grateful, reverend, to have you with us today. this reverend is the brother of a passenger aboard flight 93. at this time, with you all stand as you are able for the national and, performed today by the united stand statey brass quintet. i ask you remain standing as the reverend leaves us in the invocation, followed by an assignment. -- by a moment of silence.
honesty, rather than to defer to power or deceive to get it. to influence someone for justice rather than impress anyone for gain. and by grace, to find treasures of joy, of friendship, of peace hidden in the fields of daily life. the fields you give me to plow. joshua taking the people into a new land was given a command three times. be strong and of good courage. be strong and very courageous.
do not be afraid. they, the 40, acted not subdued by the power of violence and not held back by the disease of fear. they, our 40, acted from a friendship formed in but a few minutes, from a peace of heart and mind in their newfound community. they, the 40, were strong and courageous on behalf of you and i and all others. for the love of others and by
>> please be seated. on this day at this very special time, flight 93 national memorial's architect mr. paul murdoch will lead the reading of the names of the passengers and crew members of flight 93. mr. murdock will be joined by family members reading the names of their loved ones. for each name, mr. bill anders and sharon custer, who proudly serve as flight 93 ambassadors will ring the bells of remembrance.
>> thank you to all of the family members and to mr. paul murdoch for assisting us with this very special tradition of the observance ceremony. we also thank bill anders and sharon custer for their part in ringing the bells of remembrance. in november of 1863, at the dedication of a new national cemetery in gettysburg, pennsylvania, not that far from this very place, president abraham lincoln delivered the
gettysburg address. referring to the bravery of the soldiers in the battle of gettysburg, president lincoln stated, "the world will little note or long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here." those very same words could be said here at flight 93 national memorial. when the passengers and crewmembers of flight 93 learned that other planes had been used to strike the world trade center buildings, then the pentagon, they voted to take action. refusing to let their airplane be used to inflict more damage upon this nation. . in the process, they sacrificed
their own lives to save many. visitors who come to this memorial not only learn of the brave actions of those on board, but are inspired by them. although they are missed by so many, they will never be forgotten. at this time, i would like to introduce pennsylvania governor tom wolfe. he was sworn in as the 42nd -- governor of the great 47th commonwealth of pennsylvania on january 20, 2015. following in the footsteps of pennsylvania's governors during and after the events of september 11, he has been a staunch supporter of this memorial. ladies and gentlemen, please welcome governor tom wolfe. -- tom wolf. [applause] [laughter]
-- [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you, all of you for being here today as we remember those we lost 17 years ago today. i want to thank the governor, who i have the honor to introduce today, who provided much-needed leadership after governor ridge went to washington to help the country respond to the horrifying events of that day. i want to thank president trump for joining us in pennsylvania for this solemn remembrance. i want to thank you, the families, friends, loved ones who, 17 years ago, found their lives changed forever. we owe a debt of gratitude to the family members who learned of the attacks happening in new york, washington, and took decisive action. since i became governor, i have been honored to speak before you and offer what little thanks i can on behalf of myself and the commonwealth for the sacrifices you all made. this year, with the dedication
of the tower of voices, there are new avenues of remembrance and new opportunities to reflect on the impossible sacrifices made in the skies above us. where there has been unspeakable tragedy, the families have built a place of aspiration, of hope and honor. right here in pennsylvania. we thank you for that. each year, all pennsylvanians remember and honor your loved ones. we hailed them as heroes and recall their actions and listen to their words. you know, hero is one of the most overused words in any language. we may bestow this title too frequently. but the people who found themselves on flight 93 are in fact heroes. the first responders and everyday citizens who came to the crash site, they are heroes, too.
they did these things in the most heroic fashion, the most laudable things imaginable. they didn't know who they were saving. they didn't know where the plane would lead or whose lives the plane might take. they only knew that their fellow americans were at risk, so they sacrificed everything for them. their actions were heroic. their sacrifice was patriotic. we all hope that, faced with the same situation, we might make the same choices. but it is no guarantee, because the people on that flight were truly special. they were truly heroes. so on behalf of all pennsylvanians, i give our deepest thanks and most sincere gratitude. on the days following the attacks, pennsylvania was lucky to be led by individuals who rose to the challenge before them. they led a state that became a battlefield, in a country beset
by distress, in a world besieged with fear. but where there was uncertainty, they led with strength. where there was division, they led with unity and common purpose. where there was fear, they led with compassion. where there was craven-ness, they led with courage. while they awoke with the same fear, the same worry for their families, children and spouses we had in the days following the attack, they were stoic and they were strong. they helped all of us rebuild our institutions, along with our confidence. governors ridge and schweikert and their colleagues nationally set a path towards recovery and their dedication to this site has given thousands of visitors the means to remember true heroism and real patriotism. i thank both the governors for their inspiration and service. it is with great honor that i introduce pennsylvania's 44th governor, mark schweiker. [applause]
>> thank you, governor wolf. and thanks as well to the partnership and the families. gordy, thank you so much for the privilege on such sacred ground, to offer what i consider to be important reflections. mr. president, for the heroes we honor today and every day, please know that i'm still in awe of them, as expressed the last time i officially spoke here, on the first anniversary. it was here that freedom took its first stand. today, this morning, again, we gather to reflect on the
sacrifice we have never forgotten. it is hard to believe it has been 6205 days since they defeated terror in the skies above. but as we know, time has a tendency to stand still when loved ones are ripped from us, yet we continue to hold them so close to our heart. back then, we made a pact that we would never forget. and we never have. i want you to know that in difficult times in my life, my thoughts go to them. their sacrifice, their patriotism, their love for america was and remains so incredibly pure that it is difficult for many to grasp. thomas burnett junior told his wife, a group of us are getting ready to do something. i have to go. i love you. goodbye. edward felt called 911 to report
the hijacking. in a moment of horror, he was thinking of others. deora frances bodley would be 32 today. her mother, debbie, touchingly told a reporter in 2015, it is important to me that the visitors see what these 40 people took on to take a stand for freedom, to take the kind of stand that cost their lives. maybe there will be some special thing they see about this that inspires them. i said to debbie on the sunday at the dedication, we know how special your daughter is. we know how special they all are. and yes, they inspire us to this minute. that is why this moment together is so fitting, and if i may say, timely.
as they did in the years leading up to 2001, our counterintelligence agencies are now watching attacks again in faraway places. the president's own director of national intelligence confirmed last week when he said "they are growing increasingly aggressive duck" as we saw in indonesia a few months ago, men, women and children, entire family units, are committing vile acts of terrorism. the threats remain real, so we must remain vigilant and prepare a new generation of leadership. as i have had at times the university responsibility to relate the flight 93 story to homeland security grad students. reality set in for me not to long ago. the fact is, friends, our college students aren't old enough to remember firsthand
what happened here. so, as i marveled at the tower of voices on sunday, i could not help but think of the biblical and oral storytellers of centuries ago and their own motivation. they traveled and met with countless people to voice recollections and stories of history that remain critical to the past and the future. in colonial times, these stories were shared at the village tavern. decades ago, these narratives were told on porch steps from nebraska to pennsylvania and beyond. their job, often self-chosen, was to ensure people didn't forget the events that shaped their lives and cultures. might i suggest then, that on
these chimes, on this sacred ground, help tell the story of 40 brave souls who came together by chance, sacrificed to provide protection, and in so doing, changed our world. it is as if these chimes musically ring in our ears with three striking notes. we must never forget what took place here. we must never forget the heroes who sacrificed here. and we must never forget, and always strive to reach to purity of their remarkably noble sacrifice. so my fellow americans, can you hear the chorus? do you hear the patriots' call? hopefully, you do.
so when you return home to your daily lives, please share the story of the flight 93 patriots. be their storyteller, and when you do, and when you do, tell everyone on september 11, 2001, at 9:33 a.m., it was here that freedom took its dramatic stand. god bless us all and this important work, and thank you for having me. [applause] >> thank you, governor.
very powerful and heartening words. at this time, i would like to introduce mr. gordon felt, president of the families of flight 93. this organization and this very special group of individuals are an integral part of the stewardship of flight 93 national memorial. on september 11, 2001, gordon's eldest brother, edward felt, was killed aboard flight 93. as the passengers and crew members fought to retake control of the airplane. since those early days, as our country struggled to make sense of the loss of thousands of our citizens, gordon has served as the spokesman for the families of flight 93. ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming mr. gordon felt. [applause]
>> mr. president, mrs. trump, governor wolf, governor schweiker, secretary zinke, senator and mrs. casey, congressman schuster. captain and crew of the uss somerset, distinguished guests, those that serve our nation through their work with the national park service, the national park foundation, flight 93 national memorial ambassadors, friends of flight 93, visitors and dearest to my heart, families. families of flight 93. i welcome you to our annual service to honor the 40 extraordinary heroes of united
flight 93. 17 years ago, i and scores of other family members experienced the tragic loss of a loved one on september 11, 2001. we were loaded onto buses and escorted along country roads lined with first responders, saluting at attention. and families with children, waving flags, hands over hearts as a gesture of respect for those who we family members lost in what has been referred to as the first battle fought against this current brand of terrorism on american soil. our destination was a site just behind us on the western overlook. at that moment, when we first looked out over a field torn asunder, smelling of jet fuel burned and gravely wounded, we , and our country were previously injured, hurting,
angry, devastated, confused and cast adrift, into a world that offered only uncertainty, violence and fear. little did we know, in that moment, that the choices are our loved ones made during the final 35 excruciatingly terrifying minutes of their lives, as well as the actions being taken on the ground in new york city and at the pentagon, little did we know that they would serve to inspire a nation and reaffirm a standard of exceptionalism inherent in those that understand the unrelenting nature of freedom-loving peoples. this memorial is dedicated to preserving the stories of the 40 heroes of flight 93 and their collective actions. our newly dedicated tower of voices stands at the entrance of this great memorial, defiantly reminding us of how 40 strangers came together, planned, prayed,
voted, and chose to fight. foiling one prong of a terrorist attack against our country five years in the making. they were not passive. they did not sit back and let events unfold before them. they did not cower. because of their actions, further loss of life was averted, and the preeminent symbol of our democracy was preserved. this flight 93 national memorial was designed to not only honor their memory and enshrine the history of september 11, 2001, for future generations, but also to inspire those that take time to bear witness to their sacrifice. 35 minutes. a fraction of an hour, a lifetime to our loved ones.
35 minutes, during which a choice was made, the course of history was changed, and the more devastating impact of the terrorist attack against our country was averted. i am often asked what, if anything, can we learn from the events of september 11? it is a complex question and one that could provoke discussion, leading to many tangential responses. however, i firmly believe that the heroes of flight 93 set a standard, reminding us what we instinctually know to be true, but all too often, neglect to realize. the diverse individuals aboard flight 93, the morning of september 11, 2001, could easily have been any of us. one they ranged in age from the unborn to those enjoying retirement. from varying backgrounds,
professions, ethnicities, countries, and religions, whose diversity clearly added significant value to the choice that they made. when faced with the challenge that far exceeds any of us will have to face, they were able to come together in mere minutes, not as 40 individuals, bru rathers as one unified force, they chose to stand together and fight as a single united group and in their case it was a planned attack to retake control of a plane on the ground in new york and at the pentagon, it was a choice to run into buildings already there to save those. how do we honor those heroes and keep their memory alive so they
can motivate us and impact the course of our history? the answer as i have been trying to articulate for years is by choosing to do so. we have to remember. we shouldn't sit back and remain idle when evil threatens our freedom. we have to choose to be inspired by the collaborative actions of our heroes and most importantly choose to rise up and be better as our loved ones did in their final moments. they deserve no less and we as freedom-loving people can afford no less if we choose to forget the lessons learned on september 11, 2001 through neglect, apathy or distraction, we will become less honorable, less heroic and
less less free. thank you. [applause] >> thank you, gordy. i'm truly honored to call you my friend. now i would like to introduce the united states secretary of secretary of the interior, ryan sinkey, secretary sinkey was sworn in as the 52nd interior in march of 2017. he leads an agency with more than 70,000 employees who are stewards of many of our public lands including wildlife , uges, national parks
national memorials, such as this one. a tremmed use individual and a steward of our public lands. at this time, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the united states secretary of the interior, mr. ryan zinke. sec. zinke: it has been 17 years now since september 11, 2001, and most of us remember where we are and where we were on 9/11. for me, i was a navy seal instructor. i recall looking in the eyes of the young seal candidates and knowing at that time their lives
would change forever. the last lines of our national anthem tell us that america is the home of the brave. and on that day courageous patriots exemplified that bravery in the aisles of flight 3. though it is been 17 years, the pain of their passing remains. i visited this site last year with vice president pence and was honored to share the sound of the first chime for the families. our great park system tells tories, the stories of our conservation ethic, the great ethic parks to the west, to our battlefields, our civil rights monuments, our women's rights sites, and this flight 93 memorial that we honored to be at today.
it truly is a story of heroes, a story of tragedy, and most importantly, a story of our shared values of america as self-sacrifice, duty, and honor. it is a story that the fight for freedom never ends. it has to be earned every day. the crew and passengers of flight 93 gave their lives for this great nation, and their sacrifice shall never be forgotten. neither here in the fields of the great commonwealth of pennsylvania, or across our great nation. and it is in their name, the name of all those who gave their lives for our country, that we never forget this tragedy and remain vigilant against those that wish to destroy our values and our nation. today, as a combat veteran, it is my distinct privilege and
support of law enforcement, first responders, and his unwavering support of protecting our borders. sec. zinke: ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome our president, donald j. trump. pres. trump: thank you very much. thank you very much. so beautiful. we are gathered together on these hallowed grounds to honor the memory of nearly 3000 souls who were murdered on this day 17 years ago. we are here to pay solemn tribute to the 40 passengers and crew members on flight 93 who rose up to fight the enemy, took control of their destiny, and changed the course of history.
today we mourn their loss, we share their story, and we commemorate their incredible valor. 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. at this memorial, on the sacred earth, in the field beyond this wall, and in the skies above our eads, we remember the moment when america fought back. melania and i are grateful to be joined for today's ceremony by governor wolf and governor schweiker.
i also want to thank the members of congress in attendance, senator bob casey, congressman lou barletta, keith walked this, along with the president of the families of flight 93, gordon felt. we are joined by members of the national park service along with firefighters, first responders, and incredible people from law enforcement. these are truly great eople. pres. trump: some of you answer the call and raced to this field 17 years ago. you fill our hearts with pride and i want to thank you on behalf of our country. thank you very much.
pres. trump: most importantly to the family members of flight 93, today all of america wraps up and joins together. we close our arms together to help you shoulder your pain and to carry your sorrow. your tears are not shed alone, for they are shared grief with an entire nation. we grieve together for every mother and father, sister and brother, son and daughter, who was stolen from us at the twin towers, the pentagon, and here n this pennsylvania field. we honor their sacrifice by pledging to never flinch in the face of evil, and to do whatever
it takes to keep america afe. pres. trump: 17 years ago, your loved ones were among the 40 of flight 93. the 40 passengers and crew members on board the 8:00 a.m. united airlines flight from newark to san francisco. they were men and women from every background. they were young people returning from visiting family, moms and dads on business trips, and friends going and coming from birthdays and weddings. they boarded the plane as trangers, and they entered eternity linked forever as true eroes.
pres. trump: soon after takeoff, flight 93 was hijacked by evil men bent on terror and conquest. passengers and crew members began using their phones to call home. they learned that two planes had already crashed into the world trade center in new york city. immediately those on board flight 93 started planning a esponse. sandy bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and told him they were in the back of the plane preparing hot water to throw onto the hijackers. passenger jeremy glick explained the plan to his wife and said, "stay on the line, i will be back." the passengers and crew members came together, took a vote, and
they decided to act. at that moment, they took their fate and america's fate back into their own hands. in the last 20 minutes, many placed their final calls home, whispering those eternal words, i love you. some said the lord's prayer, and then they bravely charged the cockpit. they attacked the enemy, fought until the very end. and they stopped the forces of terror and defeated this wicked, horrible, evil plan.
flight 93 crashed yards from where we stand just 20 minutes flying time from the united states capital. through their sacrifice, the 40 saved the lives of countless americans, and they saved our capital from a devastating trike. in the days after the attack, tens of thousands of firefighters, police officers, and recovery workers traveled to new york and arlington to crawl through the rubble in search for survivors. there were prayer vigils, memorials, and charity drives all across our nation. here in shanksville, many of you aised up the first memorial, a
wooden cross, a chain-linked fence, mementos and tributes pouring in, and dozens and ozens of american flags. piece of america's heart is buried on these grounds. but in its place has grown a new resolve to live our lives with the same grace and courage as the heroes of flight 93. this field is now a monument to american defiance. this memorial is now a message to the world, "america will never, ever submit to yranny."
pres. trump: since september 11, nearly 5.5 million young americans have enlisted in the united states armed forces. nearly 7000 service members have died facing down the menace of radical islamic terrorism. pres. trump: today we also think of the more than 200,000 service members now serving verseas. and we think of every citizen who protects our nation at home including our state, local, and federal law enforcement. these are great americans, these are great heroes. we honor and thank them all.
pres. trump: as commander-in-chief, i will always do everything in my power to prevent terrorists from striking american soil. here with us is dorothy garcia blockner. her husband sonny was one of the passengers on flight 93. on september 11, 2001, just over a month after their 32nd wedding anniversary, sonny was on his way back from a business meeting. he called dorothy, who he loved so much, called her on the plane and uttered her name before the line went dead silent. in the days after the attack, dorothy told the investigators there was only one thing she wanted from this field, her husband's wedding ring.
they would know it by the inscription etched inside. all my love" it said, followed by the number 8 2 69, the date of their anniversary. the officers, great people, promised to try, but in this field of wreckage, it seemed certainly impossible. dorothy began to pray, and she sked her friends to do the same. days went by, then months, still no ring. a week before christmas, on december 19, she heard a knock at the door. two officers were standing with a really beautiful -- to her, she thought it was so beautiful. she knew what was happening -- a
beautiful small, white box. inside it was a wallet, a luggage tag, a driver's license, a small bag with a wedding ring inscribed with those three precious words, "all my love. those words echo across this field. nd those words of the story of 40 men and women who gave all their love for their families, their country, and our freedom. to dorothy and to every family here today, america will never forget what your loved ones did for all of us.
earlier this week you dedicated the final part of this memorial, the tower of voices. standing at 93 feet tall, the tower of voices is now the first structure visitors see when they come to this now sacred round. it will hold 40 chimes that ring throughout these fields. each a unique note, but all in perfect harmony. each time we hear those chimes playing in the wind, we will remember the 40. we will remember their faces, their voices, their stories, their courage, and their love. we will remember that free
people are never at the mercy of evil because our destiny is always in our hands. pres. trump: america's future is not written by our enemies. america's future is written by ur heroes. pres. trump: as long as this monument stands, as long as this memorial endures, great patriots will rise up in america's hours of need, and they too will fight ack.
pres. trump: 17 years ago, 40 incredible men and women showed the world that no force will ever conquer the american pirit. we treasure their memory, we cherish their legacy, and we ask god to forever bless the immortal heroes of flight 93. thank you, god bless you, god bless the families, and god bless the united states of america. thank you very much. pres. trump: thank you very uch.
stephen: indeed, mr. president, thank you so much for those inspiring and moving words. and once again, we are truly honored to have you and the first lady, and the first lady ith us here today. stephen: ladies and gentlemen, at this time, we ask that you please remain seated to allow the speakers the opportunity to personally reflect on this solemn ceremony inside the visitor center. the united states navy band
brass quintet will now share their talents with us as we conclude today's service. o to all of you, to all of the family members of flight 93, those who are with us and those who are not, and to everyone watching at home and all over the world, thank you again for taking the time to remember the passengers and crew members of flight 93 and the nearly 3000 lives that were lost on this day 17 years ago. thank you.
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