tv CNN Newsroom With John Berman and Poppy Harlow CNN September 11, 2017 6:00am-7:00am PDT
delivering destruction and devastation to the state of florida as we speak, it is delivering a hammer blow today toe na. we've heard reports all morning about dramatic rescues of people stuck in buildings that are flooding. up in jacksonville, there is serious concern about unprecedented storm surge, levels that they have not seen on the st. john's river since the 18 hundreds. again, the story about irma is the size of the storm and cnn is all over it with reporters in every location that we could get them to in the state of florida because so many places in florida have been effected. in miami here, it did not get the eye of the storm, but it got relentlessly pounded for hours and hours and hours, hurricane-forced winds, storm surge on this street that would have been up passed my waist and that's just miami. let's go over to naples which did get the brunt of the eye, chris cuomo is there.
>> reporter: john, it saw the wind here. i think they had record gust of 140 miles an hour. but a good news in a bad situation they did not get the storm surge that they feared. that's not to say they didn't get any storm surge, there was enough to flood a lot of homes. the problem is power is out for everyone here so people don't know if their homes will okay. the first responders are just starting to get out into areas to assess the situation, but, john, to be clear, it could have been worse here in naples. >> all right, poppy, let's go over to you to new york, it isn't just about this storm. it's also a day to remember. >> this marks the 16th anniversary of 9/11. and at 9:03 a.m. eastern time in just about 30 seconds, it is the most that 16 years ago today united airlines flight 175 traveling from boston to los
angeles struck the south tower of the world trade center in low erman h er manhattan. now we'll take a moment as they read the names as they always do in new york city to read the names to take a moment of silence to remember the nearly 3,000 lives lost on that day. let's listen. >> like last year, when your son graduated college, you should have been here in the best place, watching him get his diploma. and then a month later when your daughter amanda got married, you should have been here in the best place walking her down the aisle. and just six months after that, your other daughter, jessica got married, you should have been here in the best place walking her down the aisle. are you in a better place, jeff? i really hope so, but, again, i'm just not so sure any more. i guess i'll know in 20 or 30
years. save me a good seat, my brother. love you and miss you every day. >> richard edward voscow and my father ronald carl fasio. dad, your youngest granddaughter is here today. reece, you're proudly named after your dad. he had a heart condition and he loved his brother. if you were here today, he would tell you to hold the door for others every chance that you get, love, strength and peace to everyone near and far.
>> carey bowman. >> kevin l. bouzer. >> gary r. buss. >> that moment of silence on what is just a glorious, beautiful fall morning here in new york city, much like the morning of september 11, now the names will be continued to be read there at ground zero as we honor the nearly 3,000 lives lost on that day, we will be taking all of these moments of silence and bring you all of this throughout the morning here on cnn. and we are expecting to hear from the president, president trump and the first lady right now departing the white house heading to the pentagon. the president is expected to make remarks at the pentagon this morning in just a little under half an hour. of course, you'll hear that live here as we continue to mark this very important day for all of those lives. let's get back to miami, john berman is there. your coverage over the weekend, john, it's hard to describe what you and all the teams are doing down there. it is remarkable.
thank you for that and tell us what else you're seeing. >> reporter: thanks so much, poppy. and let me just say on september 11, these moment of silence, such an important remembrance even though we remember each and every day what happened to all those years ago. thanks to you, poppy. we're down here covering tropical storm irma. it's not done yet, is the remarkable thing about it. let's get right to the weather center, chad, tell us, what it's doing and where it's going. >> significant flooding happening right now, jacksonville, saint augustine and, eventually, in the tybee and possibly charleston, john. this is the area we're seeing now with the on shore flow. it's been the same direction for hours and hours, 30 hours. we're seeing record levels of the st. john's river that we've never seen before. forecasts to be 5.2 feet above sea level were the old records back in hurricane dora was 4,
4.1. we're 20% higher than we've ever been before. even in matthew, tybee island had a storm surge of about 12.4. this is going to 14.8. this is a greater storm surge that we saw in matthew because of the long duration of the storm and how long it's pushed in the same direction. there is still surge coming into tampa, but it's about 2 to 3 feet. the storm has moved far enough away from tampa the major surge is no longer a threat. there still will be winds to near hurricane strength, likely over tropical storm strength in this entire area just to the northeast of the eye passage today. so we could see powerlines down in georgia, the carolinas for sure before it's all done. i know we're over a million or 5 million customers, it's still going on, without power. >> going to be a long, long time, the head of florida light power says this could be the longest most complicated
recovery they have ever seen. joining us now on the phone, the mayor of jacksonville, mayor, if you can hear me, chad meyers just said that the jacksonville area experiencing flooding that could be historic. very concerned about the storm surge there. mayor, what are you seeing? >> well, it's unparallel to anything i've seen before. we've taken 25 inches of rain in 4 hours. we have quite a bit of flooding all over jacksonville beach. we're still taking our initial assessments. about 90% of our customers have lost power. we're still looking at very -- and we're working as best we can to get things back, you know, we're in much better shape than south florida. we'll be able to recover from relatively quickly. as i said, we have flooding in
our city that i've never seen anything like it. >> mayor, again, how high is the water? >> well, most of the water that, you know, is rainwater. we had one breach that flooded the streets and the first street in jacksonville. it's a little flooding. it's going to take some time for this to be -- cleared so the traffic could get here to use the roads. i'm happy to say we were able to keep our electric -- i'm sorry, our water and sewage up during the storms so our residents won't feel any negative impacts here. they'll be able to use water. >> as far as you can tell, mayor, is everyone safe? >> there have been no reports -- our initial -- injuries or
deaths. and we'll be certainly making our top priority and make the canvas, should be closed. and the sun has been up a short period of time and it's a damage assessment. >> all right. and the flooding will go on for some time. charlie of jacksonville beach, thanks so much for being with us, again. again, the storm pounding daytona, moving up to jacksonville and could deliver serious flooding as far north as charleston, south carolina. i had a friend there who said they were concerned about flood levels. we're down here in miami that's all the way up there in south carolina, the size of this storm. let's go over to the other side of florida with chris. chris. >> reporter: power is out here. we're hearing reports, john, of power being out all the way up into georgia because of irma, just to give you some perspective. close to 6 million people now without power because of this storm and it is not over.
another place that wasn't expected to get it. but they're getting it right now. brynn. >> reporter: it died down just a bit from the last time we talked to yo. we're getting tropical storm wind gusts ever so often. certainly a lot better than it was a few hours ago. this is a light that felt from 15 stories from our hotel. you can imagine -- i mean, this is heavy. you can imagine this falling on a car, what sort of damage that this could have done. luckily, it just fell in the street and we found it next to our hotel where we were doing our live shots all throughout the evening. in addition to the wind here in orlando, we also had a ton of rain. that's something emergency officials told me before the storm they were worried about. they saw how much rain that happened there, 50 plus inches, they prepared for this storm using that as barometer. they lowered time levels,
whatever they can do to prevent any sort of flooding. mostly held, in some areas it didn't. we know about a rescue that happened not too far from here in western orlando where more than 100 people had to be evacuated by the orange county and rescue from their home because the local ponds and lakes near that area flooded their homes. so, they certainly were immuned to any destruction. right now, what we see in the city is downed powerlines and trees. certainly, not as terrible as we're seeing in the video, again, south of florida, but certainly something this county is going to be dealing with. chris. >> reporter: all right, brynn, stay safe over there and keep us in the loop about what happens. a lot of the story today is about the unknown. how are the keys? what are the damage? how are the people down there? the cuban government reporting they lost ten lives from this storm? we still have a long way to go. let's check in with sarah and see the pictures of you and your
curfew m people are now starting to come back home. i think all things considered, we really -- we're lucky last night. the surge was not nearly as bad as was expected so we don't have that low level flooding that we had anticipated. i'm excited. my wife is able to go home, so i'm really excited. and tampa, i think, lived to fight another day. >> everybody craves the normal after something like this. what do you think the timing is in terms of getting power and getting things cleaned and getting things back to normal? >> i think the power, i think our crews will get through and do what we need to do over the next day or two. obviously, we're going to be on high alert for looters and con artists and scamming. i think we can handle that pretty well. i think the issue will be the power issues and the magnitude of the power issues around the state of florida. obviously, our friend and neighbors in jacksonville are
getting walloped. there are crews that are massing to come into tampa, as we speak. i just talked to the governor. he has been relentless about getting those crews ready to come into florida, as needed. we've got other floridians and other cities that need that help more than we do. we're going to be okay, i will imagine, it will be days, not weeks before that power is up and tampa will continue to move on. >> that will be good news. i mean, you know, just one day is too long, especially with no air conditioning once the temperatures get back to normal and the humidity does, as well here. the best case on a bad set of possibilities. you were ahead going into this storm, you kept everybody aware. thank you for talking to us throughout, and i'm happy you have an easier task than you expected. be well, mr. mayor. >> thank you, chris. >> reporter: all right, john.
especially on a day like today as you put so eloquently before, as we remember 16 years of 9/11, it gives you that dose of perspective. no matter how bad irma gets, we get through so much together. >> reporter: we were just getting a cool breeze, i should note here in miami. what a day, what a difference a day makes, a cool breeze, the wind we've been getting not welcome at all. now, the storm is up the peninsula, continuing to deliver a march. martin savage over in the panhandle which is feeling something, maybe not as bad as we got here. martin savage is up in mexico city, mark? >> reporter: john, it just shows you that this storm is still having an impact. this is the northern most part of florida that you'll find here in the panhandle. mexico beach, it's a small quiet community, right now it's getting hit with rain and tropical forced winds, but nothing like you were seeing further south in the state.
for the most part the electricity has stayed on. this was an area of the state that was worried, thinking they might get one last kick from irma. it looks like now this area is getting a break. the wind is not as severe the tropical storm, the rain is not the problem. the worry it will be anything like a rip tide and somebody starts to go in the water for beach erosion. so far, so good, they're ready to respond to the rest of the state health is needed. you're feeling pretty good about things right now. john. >> of course, martin savage, you were in the middle of harvey which shows how complicated and the scope of what officials will have to deal with. martin savage up in mexico, beach, thanks so much. poppy, let's go back to you in new york. >> thank you so much. i bet that burst of cool air was pretty nice, given all you have been through this weekend. you've got tropical storm irma, now it was a tropical storm, right. it was very intense hurricane. it is continuing to slam florida
as it moves north. it is expected to leave expensive extremely trail of destruction the largest state economy, the fact that it comes right on the heels of the devastation of hurricane irma, makes the economic outlook a lot worse. one-two punch, two big hurricanes back to back. >> that makes this hurricane season likely the 2017 hurricane season likely the most expensive in history, if not almost on top of the list. the top of the estimates for irma are $172 billion, how does that compare with katrina, for example? that would be worse than katr a katrina. we just don't know the sprawling scope, really, of the kind of economy we're talking about here, make it really difficult to be able to measure just how deep the pain will go. we're talking about three of the biggest airports in the world, really, miami, orlando, fort
lauderdale, that's the 21st largest u.s. airport, those are all still closed here. you've got the property values to tourism, to airlines to cruises, to airports, to ports, to agriculture, to the job market. i mean, you look at harvey, what we've seen so far is harvey, already 62,000 people, more people than usual filed for unemployment benefits last week. you can see the hit to unemployment benefits. insurance pay outs will help pay for some of this, so will federal aid. some of this will be by people and businesses. >> especially tourism being such a huge part, that and they cannot make up people living on day-to-day paychecks that they're not getting if they're not at work. they're not getting it if they're not there. quickly before we go, gas shortages. >> if you look on the west coast of florida, there are several cities where you've got significant gas shortages. in gainesville, 63% of stations,
miami 62%. of course, some of these places you should not be going out to try to fill up your tank any way, rick scott, the governor says he's working hard to get those restrictions fixed. but it's very hard to go into reconstruction when you don't have the basic tools yet. those tools are powered and fuel. there will be a boost of economic activity when reconstruction comes. that happens later. >> romans, thank you so much. she brought up power, this is huge. we've got the biggest utility company in all of florida, florida light and power. this could be the longest recovery effort. you've got 6 million floridians without power. we're going to talk to someone down in florida from florida light and power about where that stands, straight ahead.
this is not a cloud. this is a tomato tracked from farm to table on a blockchain, helping keep shoppers safe. this is a financial transaction secure from hacks and threats others can't see. this is a skyscraper whose elevators use iot data and ai to help thousands get to work safely and efficiently. this is not the cloud you know. this is the ibm cloud. the ibm cloud is the cloud for enterprise. yours.
the ibm cloud is the cloud for enterprise. you don't let anything lkeep you sidelined. come on! that's why you drink ensure. with 9 grams of protein, and 26 vitamins and minerals... for the strength and energy, to get back to doing what you love. ensure, always be you. (con artists...) they'll try anything to get your medicare card number. so they can steal your identity, commit medicare fraud. what can you do? guard your card? guard your card? just like your credit card. nobody gets my number, unless i know they should have it. to protect your identity, new medicare cards without social security numbers will be mailed next year. visit medicare.gov/fraud stay sharp people!
here we are in naples florida along the west coast. this is one of the cities they were really worried about it's barely 5 to 10 feet above sea level. what a difference a day makes, for better and worse, beautiful sky, we thought we would never see it again. they saw some of the biggest gusts of hurricane irma right here in naples almost right in this spot. gusts up to 140 miles an hour. chad meyer said it set some type of record. one of our senior correspondents and i were in it as the eye of irma went over this city. that wasn't expected, originally. when that path changed, so did all of the concerns both of us have stood in a lot of storms and neither of us have never
seen anything like that. it was like a fire hose of wind and water, you know what, now it is gone and the rebuilding begins, john. >> chris, you single handedly staired that storm down and pushed it up the coast. now with people all over florida are dealing with the lack of power, more than 5.8 million people have no power now in the state. i'm joined by rob, the vice president of florida power & light. it's the easiest question in the world with the most complicated answer, i'm sure. it's the only question some 5.8 million customers have, when are they going to get their power back? >> john that's an important question, the reality is going to take some time. our territory we serve over half the state of florida, 90% of our customers are within 20 miles of
the coastline. we go from the georgia line all the way down to the keys and right back up to tampa. we've got about 3.6 million of our customers that are in the dark still. if there is any good news, we've been able to restore about 1.4 million customers over the past day, day and a half, largely through automation as a result of investing three billion dollars in our network over the past ten years. irma was a massive storm, devastation that we're seeing is horrible and so what we're seeing on the east coast and especially now where it's extended into daytona. with all what we've seen. we're literally talking about a rebuild that could take weeks. >> tell me how the process will work, who gets their power back first and what will the progression be.
>> the first step is today we're getting out to assess. we've got an army of 17,000 restoration workers the largest that was prestaged in the state of florida ready to respond. they now can get out now that the wind has subsided below 35 miles an hour, so they can fly our bucket trucks and do work. we will assess the damage. we will then get our power plants back online, if there are any down. and then we will move to the main truck lines, if you will, the main fears that feed critical infrastructure, water pumping stations, gasoline stations, things of that nature. and then we will move to the largest numbers of customers as possible, as quickly as possible. all of this his to be done in a safe fashion. then we'll finally continue down to the neighborhood level. it's a very deliberate process, very orchestrated process, a lot of military precision, if you
will. we need to make sure that we do it safely. it will be at it day and night until we get all of our customers restored. >> one of the questions you may ask during or after a storm like this is what have you learned, how might you do things differently in the future. as i was standing on the miami coast looking at miami beach yesterday morning, we saw transform blows one after the othe other. hang on one second, the president is laying a reef at the 9/11 memorial. let's listen in.
crashed into that building 16 years ago today, as barbara star, our pentagon correspondent joins me. barbara, you will remember that morning, early like this morning, a clear, beautiful, crisp early fall day. tell us more about who was with the president. >> about 900 people there, poppy, you're right, already when i arrived early at the pentagon, you were hearing the phrase, it's 9/11 weather. it is a beautiful morning in washington. in a few minutes we'll hear the national anthem. there will be a moment of silence, as the pentagon, a as it does every year, pauses to remember the 184 souls lost here, murdered here that day by americans airlines flight 77 was hijacked by terrorists and crashed into the building. take a moment and pause to remember the hundreds of thousands of u.s. troops, still 16 years later overseas from afghanistan, iraq, syria, throughout the middle east,
indeed, around the world, tens and tens of thousands -- tens of thousands of military families making that sacrifice so their loved ones can serve. it is always a solemn momentary at the pentagon, you know, it's a busy place. life goes on. people move briskly up and down the hallways, meetings happen. but make no mistake, on this morning every year, people do pause and remember so many people who work here who are here that morning and we hear constantly from people who may have moved on to other jobs, other places. they e-mail, they phone. it's a community of people, i suspect, like new york, like shanksville who were here. i think, in a minute. i think we'll have the invocation, we'll have the national anthem. the joint chiefs will speak, briefly, the secretary of defense, and then president trump will deliver remarks, remembering, acknowledging this very solemn moment 16 years ago
ago today, poppy. >> let's listen in. we see the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general approaching. i think we have a moment of silence. let's just listen in. ♪ >> did we miss that? ♪ ladies and gentlemen, the president of the united states and the first lady. >> and, barbara, we see the president and the first lady as they're approaching the podium here. what else can we expect to see today. >> please stand for our national
anthem. [ what so proudly we held as the twilights last gleaming. whose bright stripes and bright stars ♪ through the perliosu fight. for the ramparts we watched ♪ ♪ were so ga lantlily streaming ♪ ♪ and the rockets red glare, the bombs bursting in air ♪ ♪ gave proof through the night ♪ that our flag was still there ♪ ♪ oh say does that star spangled banner yet way ♪
♪ ore the land of the free ♪ and the home of the brave ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, the united states air force, chief of chaplains, major general costan. >> let us pray together. heavenly father, we bow our heads together consecrated on september 11, 2001, by 184 innocence who perished in an instant but whose legacies will never die. where as, moses was commanded from a burning bush on holy ground to rescue his country men from their oppressors, our generation was commissioned from a burning building on this site
to do the same. the nearly 3,000 who lost their lives that day, we remember, for family members who deal with their lost to this day, we pray. for first responders who helped others live to see another day, we rejoice. for those who witnessed this shot heard round the world and suited up for combat to seize it, we thank you on this patriot day. thank you for giving our freedom fighters enough grit to stand tall and enough guts to stand up anyone gullible enough to assume america would ever stand down. standing here in the shadow of their sacrifice, please transform the raw emotion of this ceremony and to righteous action worthy of their service. the script which you arures tel we'll turn and leave combat once
and for all. until that peace persist, lord, help us demonstrate due diligence not only in the quality of our individual lens in keeping bad guys on the run. when complacent si creeps in, give us the skill to succeed. when fear calls, give us the will to win. when differences divide, unit us in a common cause and when doubt appears, fill us with the faith to know that this cause, liberty is clearly worth the cause. in closing, lord, we pause now for a moment of silent reflection. in your holy name we pray, amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, the
chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general joseph f.dunsford, jr. >> mr. president, this is from secretary mattis members of the cabinet and most importantly to the family and friends who have fallen and those who gathered who survived the attack of the pentagon, good morning. it's an honor to join you as we reflect all of those who lost their lives on september 11, 2001. if this was particularly mindful of the 184 who died here in the halls of the pentagon and aboard flight 77. 16 years ago when terrorists attacked the pentagon, world trade center and attempted other attacks in washington, d.c., they did so with a sense of purpose. they were attacking symbols that reflect our way of life and our values. terrorists believe these attacks will shape our commitment and as president bush said hours after the attack.
the terrorists thought they could frighten us into chaos and retreat, but they were wrong. instead of retreat the tragedy of 9/11 produced in us an unyielding re. state of hopelessness, our mourning turned into action. we have strengthened our commitment that the idea the freedom of many should never be endangered by the hatred of a few. so this morning, as we call the 9/11, it's appropriate for those of us still serving to remember and honor those who died, those who continue suffering from injuries and those left behind. but if we truly want to honor those remembered today each of us will walk away from this ceremony with a renewed sense of commitment to our values and the cause of freedom. each of us will walk away from this simple ceremony reminded that the war is not over and further sacrifice will be required. each of us will walk away with resolve to strengthen our personal commitment to protect
our family, friends and fellow citizens. it's now my privilege who to introduce someone whose life demonstrates personal commitment in values and our way of life. our secretary of defense. honorable james mattis. >> thank you. mr. president, mrs. trump, our first lady, fellow secretaries of the president's cabinet, distinguished guests, first responders, ladies and gentlemen and a special heart felt welcome to the 306 family members gathered to remember their loved ones lost, 16 years ago today. we are here to honor those 2,977 lives claimed by the brutal attacks of september 11th, 2001. men and women who woke that day
never anticipating attack on their place of work or against this country. innocence who hailed from 90 nations in all walks of life. attackers perpetrated murder that fateful day. but heroism and compassion were boundless on 9/11. patriots on all backgrounds and walks of life responded with speed, with courage and with compassion. in the aftermath and attack and service members, our nation rallied together as one for while we have never asked for this fight, we are steadfastly committed to seeing it through as president trump have made abundantly clear. and with no more temperizing as our leadership galvanizes other nations to stand united against this threat to all human kind. many acts disguised and false
religious guards thought by hurting us they could scare us that day. but, we, americans, are not made of cotton candy. we are now seaweed drifting in the current. we are not intimidated by our enemies and mr. president your military does not scare. our nation's troops today are worth the successors. worthy successors of our valiant sailors of midway regime -- and airport pilots. men and women of your armed forces, america, having signed a blank check to the protection of the american people and the defense of our constitution a check payable with their very lives, your military stands ready and confident to defend this country, this experiment in democracy. and we will continue to do so if it all means necessary and as
long as necessary. so today we remember the loss of so many, in new york city and somber field, in pennsylvania, and here in this very building behind me and in many battles sense and some of those battles are still raging. as former secretary of defense observed on every year 9/11 we're mindful that their death like their lives should have meaning and that's how we carry forward our responsibility to protect america. to the families of those who parish, the loss you have endured drives us in our mission today and every day. it's in that spirit that it's my honor to introduce the commander
in chief, the president of the united >> thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen, i want to thank you, secretary mattis, general dunford, members of the cabinet, members of the armed forces, first responders and most importantly to the families and to the survivors, it's an honor to join you on this very, very solemn location. this is an occasion that is extraordinary and it'll always be extraordinary. before we begin i'd like to send our nation's prayers to everyone in the path of hurricanes irma and to everyone suffering through the devastation of hurricane harvey. these are storms of catastrophic severity and we're marshaling
the full sources of the federal government to help our fellow americans in florida, alabama, georgia, texas, louisiana, tennessee and all of those wonderful places and states in harm's way. when americans are in need, americans pull together and we are one country and when we face hardship, we emerge closer, stronger and more determined than ever. we're gathered here today to remember a morning that started very much like this one. parents dropped off their children at school, travelers stood in line at airports and getting ready to board flights, here at the pentagon and at offices all across the country, people began their early meetings, then our whole world changed. america was under attack.
first at the world trade center then here at the pentagon, and then in pennsylvania. the horror and anguish of that dark day were seared into our national memory forever. it was the worst attack on our country since pearl harbor and even worse because this was an attack on civilians innocent men, women and children whose lives were taken so needlessly. for the families with us on this anniversary, we know that not a single day goes by when you don't think about the loved ones stolen from your life. today our entire nation grieves with you and with every family of those 2,977 innocent souls who were murdered by terrorists
16 years ago. each family here today represents a son or daughter, a sister or brother, a mother or father who was taken from you on that terrible, terrible day. but no force on earth can ever take away your memories, diminish your love or break your will to endure and carry on and go forward. though we can never erase your pain or bring back those you lost, we can honor their sacrifice by pledging our resolve to do whatever we must to keep our people safe. [ applause ] on that day not only did the world change, but we all changed.
our eyes were opened to the depths of the evil we faced but in that hour of darkness we also came together with renewed purpose, our differences never looked so small, our common bonds never felt so strong. the sacrifice grounds on which we stand today are a monument to our national unity and to our strength. for more than seven decades, the pentagon has stood as a global symbol of american might, not only because of the great power contained within these halls, but because of the incredible character of the people who fill them. they secure our freedom, they defend our flag and they support our courageous troops all around
the world. among the 184 brave americans who perished on these grounds were young enlisted service members dedicated civil servants who had worked here for decades and veterans who served our nation in korea, in vietnam and in the middle east. all of them loved this country and pledged their very lives to protect it. that september morning each of those brave americans died as they had lived, as heroes, doing their duty and protecting us and our country. we mourn them. we honor them and we pledge to never ever forget them. [ applause ] we also remember and cherish the
lives of the beloved americans who boarded flight 77 at dulles airport that morning. every one of them had a family, a story and beautiful dreams, each of them had people they loved and who loved them back and they all left behind a deep emptiness that their warmth and grace once filled so fully and so beautifully. the living, breathing soul of america wept with grief for every life taken on that day. we shed our tears in their memory, pledge our devotion in their honor and turned our sorrow into an unstoppable resolve to achieve justice in their name, the terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our
spirit. but america cannot be intimidated, and those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle. in the years after september 11th more than 5 million young men and women have joined the ranks to defend our country against barbaric forces of evil and destruction and american forces are relentlessly pursuing and destroying the enemies all civilized people ensuring and these are horrible, horrible enemies. enemies like we've never seen before. but we're ensuring that they never again have a safe haven to launch attacks against our country.
we are making plain to these savage killers that there is no dark corner beyond our reach, no sanctuary beyond our grasp and nowhere to hide anywhere on this very large earth. since 9/11 nearly 7,000 service members have given their lives fighting terrorists around the globe. some of them rest just beyond this fence in the shrine to our nation's heroes on the grounds of arlington national cemetery. they came from all backgrounds, all races, all faiths, but they were all there to dedicate their lives and they defend our one, great american flag. [ applause ]
they and every person who puts on the uniform has the love and gratitude of our entire nation. today as we stand on this hallowed ground we are reminded of the timeless truth that when america is united, no force on earth can break us apart. no force. on the morning of 9/11 pentagon police officer isaac hufel and a special person was one of the many heroes whose love for his fellow americans new no bounds. he was amile away when he got the call over his radio that a plane had crashed into the pentagon. he sped to the scene and raced into smoke and fire.
few people would have done it. he ducked under live electric wires and trudged through puddles of jet fuel only steps away from sparks and from vicious flame. in the pitch black he began calling out people in need of help. isaac heard faint voices and he wanted to answer those faint voices. one by one he carried people out of the burning rubble. he kept going back into the smoldering darkness, calling out to anyone who could hear, anyone who was alive, he saved as many as 20 people who had followed his voice. he carried eight himself. for nearly 36