tv Pres. Biden Speaks at 911 Remembrance Ceremony at Pentagon CSPAN September 11, 2022 9:05am-10:10am EDT
gerald p. fisher. darlene e. flag. and her husband rear admiral wilson s. flag, united states navy reserve, retired. petty officer second class matthew m.blacco, united states navy. sandra n. foster. first lieutenant richard p. gabriel, united states marine corps, retired. captain lawrence d.getspread, united states navy.
♪ grace brought me ♪ ♪ safe thus far ♪ ♪ and grace will lead. me home ♪ fors ♪ amazing grace ♪♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the invocation. >> i'd like you to pray with me on this solemn occasion. almighty god, we thank you for your love and your grace. thank you for being here with us today in your mighty name, amen.
it is my pleasure to introduce the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. >> mr. president and distinguished guests and especially survivors and families of the fallen who are here today and watching from around the world. thank you. thank you for joining us for this morning's ceremony. 21 years ago today, terrorists murdered 2, 977 innocent men, women and children in the name of their warped ideology. what started out as a normal day here at the pentagon violently
changed at 0937 hours. on the sacred ground where we now stand, 184 americans were viciously slaughtered, 125 in the pentagon and 59 passengers and crew on flight 77. the innocent ranged in age from 3-71 years old. the families of those killed and our entire nation will forever remember the pain of this day. it was not just an attack on the passengers and crew aboard the aircraft, not just an attack on new york city or washington, d.c. or somerset county, pennsylvania. it was an attack on our nation as a whole. it was an attack on the freedom of this nature, an attack on who we are and what we represent.
the terrorists believed they could destroy us, destroy our values, the values that bind this nation, and they were wrong. terror will never destroy us. they will never destroy the idea that is america. the idea that we are all americans, regardless of where we came from, what our last name is, regardless of the color of our skin or religion we follow, doesn't matter if we're male or female, none of that matters. we are all americans. it was an attack on all of us. it was an attack because we were born free and equal. and that freedom is worth fighting for. since 911, that is exactly what three million of us did who wore the cloth of our nation.
we deployed to engage the enemies of our country, to protect and defend the principles that came under attack this day 21 years ago. each of you, each of you sacrificed to defend our country and its values. each of you did your duty. each of you deserves our nation 's eternal gratitude. and on this day we gather here to honor the fallen of 9/11. to remember and reflect and to reaffirm our resolve, to support and defend the idea and the reality that is america for which those brave souls gave their last full measure of devotion. hate and terror can damage but will never destroy the strength of america, the ideas that are
our very foundation and the values are the pillars of this great nation. ladies and gentlemen, it is now my honor to introduce the secretary of defense of the united states, the honorable lloyd j. austin iii. lloyd: thank you. mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, thank you all for being here. it is indeed an honor to be joined by family members of the fallen, survivors, and first responders. to those whose loved ones were so cruelly taken from them on september 11, 2001, i offer my deepest condolences and so does the entire department of defense.
we know that these moments of tribute are not easy. and we know the resilience that you have shown over these long years. it gives us all strength, so thank you. today we stand together to remember a day of horror and loss, a day when al qaeda terrorists murdered 2, 977 innocent souls, including 184 people here at the pentagon. but we also remember a day of monumental courage and compassion, a day when people responded to evil and fan as cities him -- fanatacism with goodness and generosity and a
day that calls forth the heroism that dwells in americans across this land. many of those acts of bravery happened right here where we're standing. our colleagues at the pentagon risked their own safety to rescue their teammates. they moved rubble with their beahr hands. they with their bare hands and cleaned wounds and used facemasks to shield against the smoke so they could keep on helping just a little longer. one woman was crawling across the second floor trying to escape when she came across a co-worker who had been in the same conference room when the plane hit. and the co-worker did not think that she could keep on going. just get on my back, the woman said, and i will carry you.
and she did. and she got them both to safety. just get on my back and i will carry you. now that is the spirit of the people of this building and all those who responded at the scene. in the face of cruelty, they showed compassion, courage, and common purpose. in the days and months after the attack, ordinary americans volunteered in an extraordinary way to help however they could, including millions who raised their hands to serve in the u.s. military. so today i want to again thank our men and women in uniform as well as the families who make their service possible. your sacrifice has ensured that america always stands ready to defend our values, our freedoms,
and our citizens. just over one year ago, america's war in afghanistan came to an end. yet we continue our relentless focus on combating terrorist threats to our nation, and earlier this summer the united states delivered justice to iman zawahiri, the leader of al qaeda. so make no mistake, america's determination to keep our country safe will never waiver and neitherily america's determination to bring justice to those who attack our citizens. surrounding us today are 184 steel benches each bearing the name of a person murdered in the attack on the pentagon. and every night 184 lights come
on lighting up each bench just as the people who they honor lit up the lives of those who loved them. and those lights remind us even on our darkest days, the american spirit still shines. it shines through the bravery of our first responders it. it shines through the strength of the heartbroken and shines through the valor of our troops and it shines through the sacrifice of all those who step up to defend the united states. so delaet us renew our dedication to facing the test of tomorrow as our heroes did with compassion for one another, with lover for our great republican and with devotion to our democracy.
we will always remember. we will always stand guard over this democracy, and we will always seek to be worthy of those who we lost. as president biden has said, and i quote, from the deepest depths of our worst crises, weevils -- eve everybody -- we've always risen to our highest heights. and ladies and gentlemen, our president believes in the united states military and believes deeply in america's strength, in the democratic values that guide us in times of trial and in the resilience of the american spirit even at moments of great challenge. ladies and gentlemen, it is my honor to introduce the president
of the united states. president biden: secretary austin, general mili, to all the families and loved ones who still feel the ache that missing piece of your soul, i'm honored to be here with you once more to share this solemn right of remembrance and reflect on all that was lost in the fire and ash on that terrible september morning and all that we found on ourselves to respond. 21 years ago and still kept our promise never forget.
we'll keep the memory of all those precious lives stolen from us u2, 977 at ground zero in new york and shanksville and where my wife is speaking now in pennsylvania, 184 of them here at the pentagon. and i know for all those you've lost someone, 21 years is both a lifetime and no time at all. it's good to remember. these memories help us heal but they also can open up the hurt and take us back to that moment when the grief was so raw. you think of everything, everything they could have done if they'd lived and just had a little more time, the experiences you missed together, the dreams they never got to fulfill or realize. i remember a message sent to the
american people from queen elizabeth it was on september 11, her ambassador read a prayer of service at st. thomas church of new york where she poignantly reminded us, quote, grief is the price we pay for love. grief is the price we pay for love. many have experienced that grief and you've all experienced it. and on this day, when the price feels so great, jill and i are holding all of you close to our hearts. terror struck us on that brilliant blue morning, the air filled with smoke and then came the sirens and the stories, stories of those we lost, stories of incredible heroism from that terrible day. the american story, the american story itself changed that day.
but what we did change, what we will not change, what we cannot change, never wilkes is the character of this nation that the terrorists thought they could wound. and what is that character? the character of sacrifice and love, of generosity and grace, of strength and resilience, and the crucible of 9/11 and the days and months that followed, we saw what stuff americans are made of. think of all of your loved ones, particularly those on that flight, ordinary citizens who said we will not let this stand risked and lost their lives so even more people would not die. we saw in the police officers and firefighters who stood on
the pile on ground zero for months amid that twisted steel and broken concrete slabs breathing the toxins and ash that would damage their health, refusing to stop the search through the destruction. they never stopped and would not. we learned about the extraordinary courage and resolve, as i said, of the passengers onboard of flight 93, understood that they were living the open -- they were there in the middle of the open shot of a new war and who chose to fight back, not professionals, but to fight back, sacrificing themselves, refusing to let their plane be used as a weapon against even more innocents. and here at the pentagon which is both the scene of the
horrific terrorist attack and the command center for our response to defend and protect the american people. so many heroes were made here. so many of your loved ones were those heroes. began almost immediately with civilians and service members leaping to action as the walls collapsed and the roof began to crumble. they raced into the breach between the fourth and fifth corridors, the impact created by the fire that raged twice the height of this building. i remember. i was a u.s. senator walking up to my office and i could see the smoke and flames they were heroes. they went back into those soaring flames to try to save their teammates. firefighters battled the blaze of jet fuel long into the night
pushing past the bounds of exhaustion. pentagon staff showed up to work on september 12 more determined than ever to keep their country secure. they said we will follow them to the gates of hell to be sure that they're not able to continue. and millions of young men and women from across the nation responded to 9/11 attacks with courage and resolve, signing up to defend our constitution and join the greatest fighting force in the history of the world. and in the year since 9/11, hundreds of thousands of american troops have served in afghanistan, iraq and so many places around the world to save and protect that great haven and protect the american people and all our service mens and families, our veterans, our gold
star families, all the survivors and caregivers and loved ones who sacrifice so much for our nation, we owe you. we owe you an incredible, an incredible debt, a debt that can never be repaid but will never fail to meet the secret obligation to you to properly prepare those we send in harm's way and prepare and care for the families at home and to never, ever forget through all that has changed over the last 21 years, the enduring resolve of the american people to defend ourselves against those who seek us harm and deliver justice to those responsible for the attacks against our people has never once faltered p. it ok 10 years to hunt down and kill osama bin ladened but we did and this summer i authorized a
successful strike on al zawahi the man who was the leader of al qaeda because we will not rest, we'll never forget, we'll never give up, and now zawahiri can never again threaten the american people in 20 years after afghanistan is over. but our commitment to protecting the united states is without end. our intelligence and defense and counterterrorism professionals in the building behind me and across the government continue their vigilance against terrorist threats that has evolved and spread to new regions of the world. we'll continue to monitor and disrupt the terror activities where we find them or wherever they exist and will never hesitate to do what's necessary to defend the american people. what was destroyed we have repaired. what was threatened, we fortified. what was attacked, the
innominable spirit has never, ever wavered. we raised monuments and memorials to the citizens whose blood was sacrificed on these grounds and shanksville to keep touch about the memories, keep it bright for all the decades to come. when future generations come here to sit in the shade of the shapele trees that cover the memorial and grown strong in passing years, they'll find the names of patriots and they'll feel the connection. it will come to pass on september 11 u2 001 and how our country was forever changed. and i hope that they'll think about all those heroes that were more in the hours and days and years that followed, ordinary
americans responding in extraordinary and unexpected ways. i hope we'll remember in the midst of these dark days, we dug deep. we cared for each other and we came together. you know, we regained the light by reaching out to light by reaching out to one another and finding something all too rare, a true sense of national unity. to me that is the greatest lesson of september 11, not that we will never again face a setback, but in the moment of great unity we also had to face down the worst impulses, fear, violence, incrimination directed at muslim americans as well as americans of middle eastern and south asian heritage. for all of our flaws and
disagreements, the push and pull of all that makes us human, there is a nation that cannot accomplish -- there is nothing this nation accomplish when we stand together and defend with all our hearts that which makes us unique in the world, our democracy. we are not only a nation based on principles, but based on an idea, the most unique nation in the world, an idea that everyone is created equal and should be created equally throughout their lives. we don't always live up to it. but we have never walked away from it. that is what makes us strong. that is what makes us our and that is what those hijackers most hoped to destroy them they targeted those buildings and our people. they failed. it falls to us to keep it safe
on behalf of all those we lost 21 years ago, on behalf of of all those who have given their souls to the cause of this nation every day since. that is a job for all of us. it is not enough to gather and remember september 11 those we lost one into decades ago, because on this day, it is not about the past, it is future. we have an obligation, a duty and responsibility to defend, preserve, and protect our democracy, very democracy that guarantees the rights of freedom that the terrorists on 9/11 sought to bury with fire, smoke, and ash. that takes commitment on the part of all of us, dedication, hard work every day. american democracy depends on the habits and the heart we, the people. that is how, we, the people.
it is not enough to stand up for democracy once a year or every now and then, it is something we have to do every single day. so this is a day not only to remember, but a day of renewal and resolve for each and every american, and our devotion to this country, to the principles it embodies tower democracy, that is who leo -- to our democracy, that is who we owe one another. that is what we owe future generations of americans to come. i have no doubt we will do this. we will meet the significant responsibility. we will should occur -- we will
secure our democracy together as one united states of america. that is who we are. that is who your loved ones were and why they gave so much. thank you, and god bless you all and may god honor the members of the military we lost and all those we lost your on 9/11. may god protect our troops. >> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the singing of god bless america. >> ♪ while the storm clouds gather
>> can we pray together before we leave? almighty and sovereign god, i do believe that america is a beautiful place. and that you are here with us, you shower down not just rain from heaven above, but you shower down upon us love, mercy, forgiveness and that amazing grace that we sing about. now, as we exchange this hallowed ground, this place for the road ahead and all that life brings our way, for those grieving the loss of someone close and dear to their heart, help us all to walk worthy of
your presence and your protection of the very blessings for which we ask once again today. you know our hearts and our desire, our hope that we can all live in peace. god, be with our service members and civil servants, protect them especially as they stand with courage and determination in harm's way around the globe, and give us peace. that only comes from you, in your holy name and in the power of your holy spirit, i pray. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, this concludes today's ceremony. and give a joining us this morning. the pentagon memorial and the reflection room are open until 12:00 p.m.
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