tv Washington This Week CSPAN September 10, 2011 7:00pm-1:00am EDT
is our live schedule. in memorial ceremony from the world trade center at site. at 9:00, a vice president biden from the pentagon. >> at the dedication ceremony for the first phase of the flight 93 national memorial. attendees included vice president biden and former presidents bush and clinton. the ceremony is just over 2.5 hours.
[applause] >> good morning. you may be seated. i am jon jarvis, director of national park service, and i am humbled to be here this morning -- for the families of the heroes of flight 93 to dedicate this memorial to your loved ones. today we also recognize those who made this memorial to the passengers and crew of flight 93 a reality.
people from this community, from the state, and across the nation who share an unwavering commitment to make this field in shanksville, pennsylvania, an eternal tribute to those whose unselfish actions spared the lives of so many. thousands of people had made the journey to be here in this solemn place, and millions more are watching or listening to the ceremony. please, welcome you all. let me also welcome several of our distinguished guests. speaker of the house john boehner -- [applause] members of the congressional delegation who are here with us as well -- [applause] there are many state elected officials as well representing
the state of pennsylvania. [applause] and there are many local officials who have been so instrumental in protecting this site over the years. [applause] 10 years ago, flight 93 took off from newark, new jersey, bound for san francisco. terrorists hijacked that plane and three others that terrible day as part of an organized attack on this country. the hijackers turned the airplane toward washington, d.c., aimed, we believe, at the united states capitol, where both the house and senate were in session. they never made it. because of the determination and valor of the passengers and crew of flight 93, that airplane crashed in this field, less than 20 minutes by air from its presumed target.
in the days that followed, as the courageous story of what happens on flight 93 emerged, the flag that had been at half staff above the u.s. capitol was brought here by senators arlen specter and rick santorum to fly as solemn tribute to the recovery personnel and investigators as they sorted through the wreckage. i ask that you turn your attention to the pole behind you as two fbi agents who were here during that investigation will once again raise that flag, the flag that flew over the u.s. capitol on september 11, the first flag to fly over this permanent memorial. as we dedicate this memorial and commemorate the inspiring story, those who lost their lives are never far from our thoughts or from the thoughts of those who were scared by their
actions. among us today are people who were in the capital or at the white house on september 11. i would ask them to please stand. [applause] i would invite everyone to stand for the invocation offered by father daniel coughlan, chaplain of house of representatives in 2001 and to remain standing for the singing of the national anthem and the presentation of the colors. >> let us pray. god bless america. here we stand, united in memory and dedication. here, a prayer rises from hallowed ground made sacred by
great heroic self sacrifice so others might live. here is the beginning of a new national pledge of allegiance inspired by those who would grasp the few moments given them to take matters into their own hands and truly make a difference. resolve never to be victims of circumstance, here true americans witnessed to a living truth beyond themselves, their hope, to free others who wish them well changed the world. desirous to end terrorism and violence, they became willing seeds planted for freedom's harvest.
only unbelievers, lord god, continue to seek a sign of your love and forgiveness. for we know that you have heard the prayers murmured here over a decade. has this anguish been neglected too long? have we not witnessed enough? ordinary people on their way to work for a family reunion offered on the altar of this plain all they had, all they loved. then threatened, they refused to be paralyzed, finding within themselves an art beyond politics. they break the silence and ddecidedly act together. they do only what is possible in an impossible situation.
because they are your children, they find within themselves true freedom. from them, lord, teach us how to release ourselves from this seat belts of economics and brought us together to rush forward to the future, unafraid, because you again give us a sense of direction. lord, by this dedication, left us from san and death to a renewed faith and prayer, bring us and all of our sisters and brothers to a new life, for we place all of our trust in you, both now and forever, amen.
>> ♪ o, say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hail, at the twilight last gleaming? whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming? and the rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air, gave proof through the night that our flag was still there, o, say, does that star spangled banner yet wave? o'er the land of the free
>> you may be seated. this memorial is to 40 remarkable people. in last than 30 minutes they assessed their situation, voted on what to do, and acted. each of them is an american hero. poet robert penske will share with us a reading and then call the names of the passengers and crew. as each name is read, representatives of the first responders will toll the bells of remembrance. the president of the flight -- families of flight 93, a steadfast supporter of this memorial, and brother of flight 93 passenger will offer his thoughts on this day on this memorial. robert?
>> for us, the american people, flight 93, because we remember it, has become a significant part of who we are and what we are as a people. andver, let's come fast acknowledge that a communication of memory, and whenever we speak of memory, we are also speaking about for getting. and we can't know what our great grandchildren will remember. but we know they will remember of this. there is always the fear of the waters of -- their river of forgetfulness.
in a beautiful poem of the 19th century, lycee is mentioned. here is the two-line poem. on love, grief, on every human thing, time sprinkles the water with its wings. and it is true that on love, on grief, forgetfulness is sometimes sprinkled. the two very short poems i am going to read to you deal first with the way we can't help what we remember. nobody wanted to remember. we didn't want to have a burden as well as the honor of this memory. the first poem is about that helplessness that we remember whether we want to or not.
and the second poem one involves the redeeming decency, reasonableness, and in the case of these 40 people, indeed, heroism. the first poem about needing to remember even if you don't want to come up the way the world has changed. like many great things about events, this poem was written decades before september 11 by a great brazilian poet. it is called "souvenir of the ancient world." clara strolled in the garden with the children, the sky was green over the grass, the water golden under the bridges, other elements of blue, rose, orange. a policeman smiled. bicycles passed. a girl stepped onto the lawn to catch a bird.
the whole world -- all was quiet around clara. the children looked at the sky. it was not forbidden. mouth, nose, eyes were open. there was no danger. what clara feared were the flu, the heat, insects. clara feared missing the 11:00 trolly. not always being able to wear a new dress. but she strolled in the garden in the morning. they had gardens. they had mornings in those days. that is a poem about a cataclysmic event happening, and it seems there will be no more gardens. the second poem i will read to
you before i read the 30 names -- for the names, also is not written in english. it is from a great polish poet. i will read it in my translation. it is called "incantation." for me it evokes the fact that these people, when they got on the airplanes, had no intention of being heroes, protecting. they wanted to go somewhere on ordinary, reasonable human business, and then their imagination was challenged by disaster. incantation. human reason is beautiful and invincible. no bars, barbwire, no sentence of banishment can prevail against it. it establishes a universal idea in languages and guides our hands so we right truth and
justice with capital letters, lie and oppression with small. it puts what should be above things as they are, is an enemy of despair and a friend of hope. it does not know jew from greek or slave from master, giving us the estate of the world to manage. it saves austere and transparent phrases from the filthy discord of tortured words. it says that everything is new under the sun, opens the congealed fist of the past. beautiful and very young are philo-sophia and poetry, her ally in the service of the good. as late as yesterday nature celebrated their birth, the news was brought to the
chose to take time today to share in the bittersweet celebration of this memorial dedication. thank you for honoring the memory of the passengers and crew of united flight 93 with your presence. 10 years ago we first came to this hallowed grounds. we were devastated. nearly broken. our lives had changed in an instant and at a time when we least expected the potential of such evil in the world. today, with the dedication of the flight 93 national memorial, we are assured that the enduring legacy of our loved ones and their collective actions on of september 11, 2001, will be preserved, providing comfort, inspiration, and education for future generations. it has been a long road to this very day. it seems to have passed in an instant. so many hurdles, so many steps
to take, procedures to follow. only a project worthy of this could sustain a level of dedication on the part of so many that would see us through to this dedication on this 10th anniversary. on this occasion it is proper and fitting to acknowledge those first responders joining us today that were called into action within minutes of the crash of flight 93. as the course of our lives was so violently altered that day, they heard the call to duty, and in their own way was the first to honor our heroes through their actions. this level of action, dedication, and compassion within the somerset county community and surrounding areas on the morning of september 11, a 2001, and during the period of recovery and investigation, was not unique, but rather the norm.
whether it is the ambassador standing vigil at the memorial, volunteers working with the national park service to preserve artifacts and oral histories, or community members opening their homes and hearts to families in our time of grief, this community has embraced this memorial project with all the dignity, grace, and under i come to realize is pervasive here in southwestern pennsylvania and across the commonwealth to harrisburg. senator casey, senator toomey, representatives shuster, the entire pennsylvania delegation, as well as long time champions of the flight 93 national memorial, former gov. ed rendell, former gov. ridge, senator specter, and the late congressman murtha -- you have honored our government's commitment to be an active partner in the development of this project.
with such upheaval in our world to get up today you continue to fight the good fight in order to ensure this project has stayed on schedule and is continue to be appropriately funded. to the families, this sacred ground holds a deep and special significance. this is the final resting place of the crew and passengers of flight 93 and we worked hard to ensure it is treated with the proper care and respect. we are grateful for secretary salazar and the national park service for their leadership in this memorial project, as well as for their current and future stewardship of this land. superintendent, project manager rhinegold, former superintendent hanley, and the entire team of rangers, ambassadors, and volunteers, we trust that you will continue to be the fierce advocates for our loved ones moving forward that you have demonstrated to be thus far. for while we are dedicating a
memorial on this day, our job is not done. we look forward to a timely completion of this memorial project so that as future generations come to somerset county seeking answers, they will have the ability to experience the complete edition of the memorial's design. the story of a flight 93 is one that resonates with all who would hold their to their hearts of the rule of law, the love of family, and the desire to control the destiny of one's life. over 70,000 people from across the globe have demonstrated their support for the flight 93 national memorial through financial support, and nearly 1.5 million individuals have already come to this sacred ground in order to pay their respects to our 40 heroes. they have come asking questions, seeking perspective, as well as to tell their own stories and experiences of september 11, 2001.
all that have made the pilgrimage to this site, all that worked tirelessly to create this memorial, and all of those who refused to forget the individuals and their collective actions honor of the 40 crew and passengers of united flight 93. we must choose to be inspired by the story of flight 93 and seized the opportunity to hold fast to the hard-fought lessons learned on this sacred ground just 10 short years ago. as long as we continue to remember the actions of our loved ones, they remain alive in our hearts, and in the hearts of our nation. thank you. [applause]
>> thank you, ed. thank you sarah mclachlan. that was beautiful. for joining us today and for the perfect piece. this memorial would not have been possible without a strong and unwavering support of individuals, governments, groups, and foundations from across the country that have made personal and financial commitments to see it through. we welcome representatives of several of those groups. the first is chris sullivan, chairman of the flight 93 capital campaign and vice- chairman of the national park foundation. [applause] >> thank you, john barrett and thank you for all you have done for flight 93 national memorial. your leadership is remarkable. thank you very much, john.
as a fund raising partner of the national park service, the national parks foundation is a privilege to work with a dedicated group of partners. the corporations, businesses, foundations, and other organizations, the law firm of porter right that did pro bono work and the land is committed to protecting is hallowed ground. yet nobody has given more than the relatives and family members of the 40 men and women of flight 93. they feel the weight of the loss, and we admire you for your courage, your determination, your commitment, and your persistence in seeing this national memorial becomes a reality. and we are very excited that today the first that is being completed. this is an important endeavor to create a permanent place of recognition of the heroes, your
loved ones, so each generation knows that the incredible heroism, sacrifice, and horror that took place here 10 years ago. i would like to especially thank our honorary co-chairman. general, a franks and gov. tom ridge, for first asking me to participate, but more for your numerous trips and meetings with donors and your ongoing and positive enthusiasm an inspiration to see this effort through. i want you two to stand up so everybody can say thank you. [applause] some 75,000 individuals and organizations have made commitments to this national memorial. these donations, both large and small, inspire us to continue to
move forward and ordered to fulfill the promise we made it 10 years ago to remember these brave souls on board flight 93. your names will forever be recognized in our honor roll as well as in our hearts through your extraordinary generosity. thanks in your part for making and dedicating this national memorial today. over 1.5 million visitors from around the world visited the memorial, but today marks the first time we walk across the plaza and stand before this wall and come face-to-face with the quiet meadow surrounded by thousands of others who share the memory of 9/11. visiting here serves of the memories and emotions that are still raw. we reflect, and we do, reflect on the incredible courage and conviction of the heroes of flight 93 as well as the heartbreak and the sorrow of
their loved ones. we are thankful these ordinary citizens stood up and stop another deadly and destructive attack on our nation. we would like to thank five organizations for underwriting today's event. alcoa foundation, bank of america, erie insurance, and verizon. thank you. [applause] today's dedication marks an important milestone in the history and progress of the flight 93 national memorial, but it is not the final step in the journey of healing and remembrance. what we see today is only part of the memorial. behind you will be a visitors center filled with learning resources and public programs. memorial grows encircling the vast field of honor and a tower of voices who stones will echo across this land.
america has a long tradition of honoring its heroes in national parks. from the calm waters of pearl harbor to the majestic mountains of mount rushmore to the enduring legacy of martin luther king, jr., we are pleased that these 40 men and women, the heroes of flight 93, are so honored. we are confident we can realize the full vision of a national memorial. we ask for your continued support and ask you to encourage others to learn more about our efforts and go to honorflight93.org if you get them to participate. this has been a remarkable journey and, again, we still have work to do but thank you, families, you are an inspiration to all of us. we will get this done. with that, we would like to present the secretary of interior ken salazar, who has been absolutely fantastic in these efforts. mr. secretary? [applause]
>> thank you very much. good afternoon to all of you and to vice-president biden, dr. biden, president clinton, to president bush, to mrs. bush, speaker boehner, and senators casey and tommey and all the members of the delegations and elected officials and especially to the families today who worked so hard to dig as possible. we join together as friends and families, to build and support enduring monument to love, courage, and sacrifice. on one morning, a turn of history and a rush of heroes forever changed this land and this nation and this world. the battle that began at 6 miles overhead ended with a roar of engines and this area behind us, the stony creek river.
since that day, millions of americans have come to honor their heroes of flight 93. they have brought to this hallowed ground their pictures, their letters, and their prayers. and the people of this land, themselves survivors and witnesses and first responders welcome those who came. they helped us mourn, they helped us reflect, and they helped us build a memorial for all of america and for all the world for all time to seabright in this place. to the citizens of somerset county and for those who lead that effort, including gov. ridge and gov. grendell and general franks and so many others, we thank you for making this day possible to the landowners of this place in somerset county who gave of their property to this nation so that we might honor those who gave their lives here, we thank you. and to the architect, paul
murdock, who kept true to the landscape and to this event, your design has moved our hearts from the beginning. if to the families of flight 93, home i have come to know well over the years, and to the flight 93 advisory commission, the flight 93 memorial task force, the national park foundation, and the relentless and undying efforts of neil mulholland as president, for all the elected officials, thank you to your leadership. to the tens of thousands of citizens who donated to this cause, more than 75,000 so far, you honor us all. and to the families themselves who have suffered the unspeakable tragedy, but to rededicate themselves so deeply to protecting this final resting place, their partnership in this process, in this place, will ensure that the legacy of your loved ones is never forgotten.
i am honored and i am humbled to work with all of you to make this day happen. so we will never forget those heroes who gave their lives on this hallowed ground. today, this special place, these 2,200 acres, answer the care and trust of the departments of interior and the national parks service has the 389th unit of the national park service. it joins the hallowed grounds of gettysburg and yorktown, selma and pearl harbor, as a place where patriots gave their lives for this nation. here, like so many lands and sites we protect, we are reminded of that with -- which binds us as one people. we are reminded that we all share in our nation's triumphs as well as its trials. we shared dreams of peace and prosperity and we are reminded
that we stand up for one another, fight for each other, and defend the rights and dignity and doweled to all humankind. the heroism of the passengers and crew of flight 93 will live on forever. the field of honor, the groves of trees, the wind chimes that will one day be heard throughout this landscape. on behalf of the men and women of the national park service and the department of interior, we pledge, on behalf of president obama, on behalf of this nation's citizens, we pledged to guard this hallowed ground so that all who visit may learn what happened here.
we will tell the story of flight 93 and its heroic 40 passengers. we will ensure that of the 40 patriots who gave their lives will never be forgotten. and we will see to it that the american values so evident that day, determination, resilience, service, continue to inspire us, guide us, and give us hope for the future. now, it is my honor to read a letter from president carter, who was not able to come, but asked that i read this letter to all of you who are assembled here. he says -- "i join with all of you in the dedication of the flight 93 memorial and the desire to honor and remember the men and women who died here 10 years ago tomorrow. at a time of great sadness, we nevertheless were inspired by the courage and sacrifice manifested by the passengers and crew of united flight 93.
our nation was stricken by an unprecedented attack that brought death and injury to thousands of people and suffering to millions in the united states and around the world. recognize the personal losses of the families and friends of those who perished in new york and washington as well as pennsylvania. they receive my deepest condolences. all of us americans suffered and found it difficult to understand such evil acts. the proper response and includes an enhanced defense against terrorism and a renewed dedication to the values that makes the united states a great nation, a commitment to truth, justice, peace, freedom, humility, a human-rights, and generosity. the creation of this national memorial park will help us remember what we have lost and what we must do. i expected to be an inspiration and a comfort to all of us.
mr. secretary, thank you very much. mr. vice-president, dr. biden, president clinton, mr. speaker, members of congress, my friends tommy frank and tom ridge, thank you for helping to raise the money for this memorial. members of the national parks service and the national park foundation and all of you who supported this memorial, but most importantly, the families of the flight 93. laura and i are honored to join you in dedicating this memorial to the heroes of flight 93. when the sun rose and the pennsylvania sky 10 years ago tomorrow, it was a peaceful september morning. by the time it said, nearly 3000 people were gone. the most lives lost on american soil in a single day since the battle of antietam.
with the distance of a decade, 9/11 can feel like part of a different era, but for the families of the men and women stolen, some of whom joined us today, that they will never feel like history. the memory of that morning is fresh, and so is the pain. america shares your grief, we pray for your comfort, and we honor your loved ones. september 11, 2001, innocent men and women went to work at the world trade center. the reporting for duty at the pentagon. they boarded american flights to 11 and 77, united flights 93 and 175. they did nothing to provoke or deserve the deliberate act of murder that al qaeda carried out.
one of the lessons of 9/11 is that evil is real and so is courage. when the airplanes struck the world trade center, firefighters and police officers charged up the stairs into the flames. as the towers and neared collapse, they continued the rescue efforts. all tamale more than 400 police officers and firefighters gave their lives. among them was the chief of the new york city fire department. as a colleague put it -- he would never ask anyone to do something he didn't do himself. the pentagon service members and civilians told friends and strangers from burning rubble. one special forces soldier recalls reaching through a cloud of smoke in search of the wounded. as he entered one room, he prayed to find someone alive.
he discovered a severely burned woman and carried her to safety. they later met in of the hospital, where she explained that she had been praying for rescue. she called him her guardian angel. and then there was the extraordinary story we commemorate here. aboard united airlines flight 93 were college students from california, an ironworker from new jersey, veterans of the korean war and world war ii, citizens of germany and japan, the pilot who had rearranged his schedule so that he could take his wife on a vacation to celebrate their anniversary. when the passengers and crew realized the airplane had been hijacked, they reported the news calmly. when they learned that the terrorists had crashed other airplanes into targets on the ground, they accepted greater responsibilities.
in the back of the cabin, the passengers gathered to devise a strategy. at the moment, america's democracy was under attack. our citizens defied their captors by holding a vote. the choice they made would cost them their lives, and they knew it. many passengers called their loved ones to say goodbye. another said, it is up to us, i think we can do it. one of the most stirring accounts, a father of two with a pregnant wife at home in new jersey. asked the operator to join him in reciting the lord's prayer. he recited the lord's prayer. he helped lead the charge to the front of the plane. the men and women who stormed
the cockpit lived out the words, a greater love hath no man than this. they launched the first counter-offensive on the war on terror. we will never know how many innocent people might have been lost. a likely target was the u.s. capitol. we do know this -- americans are alive today because the passengers and crew of flight 93 chose to act. our nation will be forever grateful. the 40 souls who perished on the plane left a great deal behind. they let spouses and children and grandchildren, who miss them dearly. they left successful businesses and promising careers and a lifetime of dreams that they will never have a chance to fulfill. they left something else. a legacy of bravery and selflessness that will always
inspire america. for generations, people will study the story of flight 93. they will learn that individual choices make a difference, that love and sacrifice triumph over evil and hate. what happened above this pennsylvania field ranks among the most courageous acts in american history. the memorial we dedicate today will ensure that our nation always remembers those lost here on 9/11. we have a duty beyond memory. we had a duty beyond honoring. we have a duty to live our lives and where the zero poles can deals for which the men and women gave our look -- gave their lives,to build a living memorial to their courage and sacrifice. we have a duty to find common
purpose as a nation. in the days after 9/11, our response came like a single hand over a single heart. members of congress gathered on the steps of the capital and sang "god bless america." neighbors reached out to neighbors of all backgrounds and beliefs. in the past decade, our country has been tested. natural disaster, economic turmoil, anxieties, and challenges at home and abroad. there have been debates along with the way. the essence of democracy, but americans have never been defined by our disagreements. whatever challenges we face today and the future, we must never lose faith in our ability to meet them together. we must never allow our differences to harden into divisions. we have a duty to remain engaged in the world. 9/11 proved that the conditions
in the country on the other side of the world can have an impact on our streets. it may be tempting to think it does not matter what happens to a villager in afghanistan, or a child in africa, but the temptation of isolation is deadly wrong. a world of dignity and liberty and hope will be better for all. the surest way to move towards that vision is for the united states of america to lead the cause of freedom. finally, we each have a duty to serve a cause larger than ourselves. the passengers aboard flight 93 set an example that inspires us all. many followed their path to service by donating blood or mentoring a child or volunteering in desperate corners of the earth. some have devoted their careers
to analyzing intelligence or protecting our borders and securing our skies. others have made the noble choice to defend our nation in battle. for 10 years, our troops have given their lives to keep our enemies from attacking america again. they have kept us safe, they have made us proud, and they had upheld the spirit of service shown by the passengers on flight 93. many years ago, in 1853, another president came to dedicate a memorial site in the state. he told this audience that in the larger sense, we cannot hallow this ground. the brave soldiers struggle have consecrated it far above our power to act. the world will long remember what we say here, but we can never forget what they did here. so it is with flight 93.
>> before president bush came up to speak, i asked him if he was having a hard time. he said, i was doing fine until i looked at you. all of you. last night, hillary came home after spending the day in new york. her eyes were red. 10 years ago, she was the senator representing those firemen. nearly 900 people who died, and all the others. as we remember what happened in the new york, at the pentagon, and here, all the rest of us
have to honor those who were lost, to thank those who loved them for keeping their memory alive, raising their children, and finding the strength to go on with your own life. i think we should also thank president bush and those who served with him for keeping us from being attacked again. [applause] i thank them for that. speaker boehner, i thank you and the members of congress that are here, and you who have been in the congress for the last 10 years. trying to respond to the findings of the 9/11 commission
that improve our ability to secure our homeland. here, in this place, we honor something more. i was very moved when president bush recounted the facts of what happened with your loved ones over this field a decade ago. there has always been a special place in the common memory for people who certainly laid down their lives for other people. president bush is from texas.
i grew up in arkansas. that is a more important difference between us than our partisan differences. i was raised on the memory of the alamo, the defining story of texas. those people knew they were going to die. the cause of freedom allowed the whole idea of texas to survive, and those who live there now to enjoy the life they do. the first such great story i had been able to find that reminds me of all of your loved ones, however, occurred almost 2500 years ago. the great king of sparta, facing a massive persian army,
took 300 of its finest soldiers. to a narrow path. there were thousands upon thousands upon thousands of people. they all knew they were going to die. he told them that when they went. the enemy said, we are going to fill the air with so many arrows that it will be dark. the spartans said, we will fight in the shade. and they all died. the casualties they took and the time they bought saved the people they loved. this is something different. at the alamo, they were soldiers. they knew what they had to do.
your loved ones just happened to be on a plane. with almost no time to decide, they gave the entire country a gift. they saved the capital from attack and they saved god knows how many lives. they saved the terrorist from claiming the symbolic victory of smashing the center of american government. they did it as citizens. this allowed us to survive as a country, still welcoming people from all over the world.
ordinary people, given no time at all to decide, did the right thing. 2500 years to now, i hope that people will still remember. [applause] since i am no longer in office, i can do unpopular things. [laughter] i told the secretary of the interior that i was aghast to find out that we still need to raise money to finish this. we have already volunteered to do a bipartisan event in the washington. let's get this show on the road. thank you, and god bless you. [applause]
>> president clinton, thank you. it feels a bit like the rabbit who wanders into the territory of the eagles to speak after these folks here. [laughter] the difference is the eagles are friends. they are friends of every one of us here. thank you. my name is john reynolds. i am the chairman for the federal advisory commission for the flight 93 memorial.
it is my pleasure to represent an incredible partnership and its constant attention and action over the last decade. it is a partnership that is mostly invisible and unknown except to a few. it created a vision coming to fruition here as a result of diversity and commitment. it has created this national memorial, this national park. the partnership consists of five groups. they are the families of flight 93, family members of the 40 heroes. flight 93 task force composed of family members, local people, and others. they were the original group of citizens who imagined a national memorial here, worked
to consensus, and took action to convince congress and president bush to act. the flight 93 advisory commission is a direct link between everybody else and the department of interior and the national park service. it is made up of 15 people representing the local community, the families, corporate and national interests, and public historians. the national park foundation, the national fund-raising arm of the partnership, and the national park service. the keepers of the country's great heritage. all for we the people to enjoy, to reflect upon, and to learn about our nation. these partners, however, barely reflect the many people who had
given of themselves. they include the flight 93 ambassadors, local people the took it upon themselves to help visitors, starting within days of 9/11. [applause] first responders, the newly formed friends of flight 93. construction workers, government employees, governors, and generals, cabinet members, senators, congressmen, presidents, and first ladies. 75,000 individuals who have donated their money to create this memorial and the over 1000 people who shared their vision
in an international design competition. this outpouring continues to be a truly american undertaking. no one asks, who are you? why are you here? how come you care? except to be friendly. all that is asked is sincerity. the result stands before us today. the people have done this. they designed what see here today. their real genius, though, it is that they joined a chorus of our partnership of people who listened to it and to the land and to the sky and played back
their souls to create this representation of thanks and spirit of the 40 heroes of flight 93, who acted together, fought back, prayed, gave their lives. the heroes live there by that solid stone. they stand tall, solid, speaking to us. forever in these 40 panels. each name, each equal, individuals, who knowingly chose and took action to avert an even greater american tragedy. they are the courage of free people everywhere. they are our past, they are our future.
this place is the people's gift to america. a national park and a national memorial for as long as this nation shall live. it is my great and humble honor to present this memorial on behalf of the people of this wonderful partnership to all the people of the united states of america. will all of you please follow mr. jarvis? thank you very much. [applause]
[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, i am honored to be standing here today. standing with two former presidents, president clinton, as he said, the passengers on flight 93 knew that our common humanity is what unites us most. the same can be said for you, mr. president. you have spent your time as president and the years since deeply embraceencouraging us toe our common humanity.
[applause] we thank you for what you have done and what you continue to do. let me also recognize the man responsible for bringing our country together at a time where it could have been torn apart, for making it clear that america could not be brought to her knees and helping us stand tall and strike back. president george w. bush. [applause] in the darkest hour of our generation, your voice and leadership, mr. president, helped us find our way. for that, you deserve our gratitude for a long, long time. [applause]
i say now to the families who gather here today, i know what it is like to receive that call out of the blue. like a bolt out of the blue. i know this is a bittersweet moment for you. i want to tell you, you have a lot more courage than i have. you have a lot more courage just by being here today because i know how hard it is to relive these moments. it brings everything back in stark detail. i also know, like your loved ones, you are literally an inspiration to the thousands of people across this country right now who are feeling an intense tragedy that they are
suffering. they know, looking at you, watching you on television today, that there is hope to be found after tragedy. there is a rebirth in the face of death. you are as courageous as your family members were and we owe you all for being here today just the act of being here. [applause] we are here today to remember and honor 40 men and women who gave their lives so that others could live theirs. decent, honorable women and men that never imagined when they said goodbye to their children and walked through the door,
they were doing it for the very last time. they did not know the horror that awaited them. but they confronted fear and terror with the courage that was summoned by the truest of american heroes. 40 names etched on each of those panels. the wall of names. more than that, their names are going to be etched forever in american history. they joined an elite list of men and women with a long history, filled with ordinary americans doing extraordinary things. men and women of undaunted courage, and a stubborn perseverance in the face of challenges. we teach our children that
these are qualities ingrained into our national character as americans. i believe they are. they can make our national identity. i believe they will continue to define america because of the example of the men and women that we pay tribute to today. the passengers and crew of flight 93. none of them asked for what happened. they did not go on that plane, they did not board that plane to fight a war. when they heard the news, when they found what happened in new york, they knew they were going through something more than a hijacking. they knew it was the opening shot in a new war. so they acted as citizen patriots had acted since the beginning of our country.
they stood up and they stood their ground. "if they need to have a war, let it begin here." as many times as i recall, and all of you who are not family members, recall this incident time and again over the last 10 years. i never fail to be astonished by the courage they demonstrated. and so we stand where it began. we think of our nation, we think of our history, we think of the future. we think of it because of them with a confidence knowing that ordinary citizens will continue to stare down fear, overwhelm
evil, and bring forth hope when there seems to be none. it will continue to amaze us, it should not surprise us. that heroism is who we are. that courage lies deepest we know that these men and women were more than just ordinary americans to all the sitting in front of me carry they were more than just passengers and crew. they were already heroes. they are already heroes to you. they were the father that tucked into bed at night. they were the what new yorkers
before you express to them. they were the brother who lifted up. they were the brother who lifted you up. they were the son who made you proud. we know that. we know that no memorial, and the words, no axe can fill the void that they left in your hearts. -- no acts can fill the void that they left in your hearts. i hope you take comfort in knowing that a great formation understands that your loved
[applause] that piece of steel is an enduring symbol of this region and the spine of this country. it lives on in the next generation of lawyers, the 9/11 generation. inspired but what happened here, 2.8 million young americans since 9/11 have joined the united states armed forces. thousands giving their lives and tens of thousands of being wounded to finish the war that began here. my angelo maya angelo wrote
that history cannot be unlived. but with courage, it does not need to be lived again. ladies and gentlemen, we're not here to unlive history. we're here to honor those who made history and will inspire generations of americans to come. i say to you, even as he struggled with this strategy, even as he grappled with devastating grief, we can look up at the heavens and think of those heroes and no -- know that there isn't a single tragedy that america cannot were calm. -- cannot overcome.
the seeds of doubt planted by those who wish to harm us, instead will grow into strong flowers that stand up like we do today. they cannot get rid of the american spirit. [applause] we know this. as president clinton knows, my mother used to say, courage lies in every heart. expectation is that one day courage will be summoned. courage lies in every part. one day it will be summoned. on september 11, 2001 it was
all of us were gathered here, make peace our homes of destination. as to transform this land with new growth, it deepened the commitment of those who wish to finish this work begun. bless their efforts and bring it to completion. bless our nation. mir people flourished -- make your people flourish. might we enjoy your presence now and forever. amen.
>> as to bring the ceremony to a close, i want to thank everyone who came here today. this memorial is a small expression of the nation's gratitude. those who you love are our heroes. they are with us always, in order wiest -- immortalized here in this field. every future generation will honor those heroes, your husbands and wives, your sons and daughters, to tell their stories to make sure that america and the world never forgets. everyone please remain in your
>> the weekly speeches by president obama and former new york city mayor. >> c-span remembers september 11 through the stories of those who were at the white house, the u.s. capitol, the pentagon, and in the skies above washington, d.c. david thomas describes what it was like as he searched for his best friend. this is an hour.
>> my day began with a series of meetings. we were discussing the contribution to national defense. we had just put the finishing touches on our input. >> explain the project. what was the review all about? what was your specific role? >> the department of defense, there was a report to congress. overview of our defense posture and the structure that supports it. it was a policy-based review. i had been in the policy
director on the navy staff. i became the executive officer of this. myself and 23 other officers had been working on this project for almost 18 months, and we richest about ending on september 11. >> this was just another in a series of meetings. >> it was a typical day. i had an apartment close to the pentagon. i was in north parking. i started my day about 5:00 at my desk. we were just about done with the project. we were very proud of our work. it's was a well executed project. >> of the first plane hit the first tower. where physically it were you? how did you get word of what was
happening in new york? what was your reaction? >> i was with a very senior naval admiral. the admiral's aide came rushing into the room and interrupted the meeting. he said, you have to watch this. we saw the first plane flight into the twin towers. the immediate reaction in the room was that this was a tragic air traffic control or some sort of accident. we turned it off and got back to work. he came back in the minutes later, he said, sir, something else has happened. we watched the second plane flight into the second world trade center building. there will be some sort of
response required of us and we must be ready. the meeting adjourned. the admiral hustled to their respective offices. >> when you saw that second plane hit the second power, for you personally, what were you thinking? >> it was clear that this was no accident. somehow, it was intentional. it could not possibly be a coincidence. an act of terror was the first thing that popped into my mind. this was a coordinated attack on the united states. at least on those buildings in new york city. you start thinking, how should we respond? what can we do? how should your response? how can we help? >> for those who have not been to washington, they have seen
pictures of the pentagon, where physically was your meeting? explain the physical structure inside the pentagon. >> the pentagon is a five-sided building. inside the a-ring is a courtyard. trees and grass and benches. in between some of these rings, you are actually outside. it is not as one solid building. for example, you have -- i was physically in a meeting in the e-ring in the first corridor. i walked from the first corridor
along the outside to my office in the 6th corridor on the fourth floor. >> shortly after 9:00, your meeting is quickly adjourned. you are heading back where? >> the sixth corridor, fourth floor in the pentagon. the c-ring. the c-ring. it was a newly and renovated wedge of the pentagon. it was being refurbished. that is where the plane flew into. minutes after i got past it and got to my desk. i checked on some projects. i would not call it a leisurely stroll, but it was a business- like what. -- walk.
minutes later, all this was gone minutes later, all this was gone and some of my friends are gone as well. >> do you remember what time he sat down at your desk? >> not exactly. it would probably be 9:15 or so. i sat down at my desk and i called a friend of mine, my best friend. who was in the navy operations center. we usually met for coffee sometime around 9:30. i said, turn on the television. there is something going on. you need to do about this. and immediately after that, there was a shock and vibration. it looked as if a big train had gone by. something has just happened. there is some sort of bomb.
there is some sort of bomb. i dashed off a quick note to my mother and i told her i was ok. i got up and i went to see what had happened. >> you never felt something like that before? >> not when i had worked at the pentagon. never. i had felt purpose before. it was sort of like that -- i had felt earthquakes before. it was sort of like that. it was almost as if the world had changed and shifted. the ground under your feet is not steady. it is uncertain. that was the feeling. >> what happens next? >> i was on the fourth floor. there was a stairwell down to the first floor, i'll decide
between -- outside between b and c. i ran outside and i looked up. i was between b and c, and there was smoke. i headed toward the smoke in this concentric rain on the inside of the pentagon. inside of the pentagon. moving counterclockwise. >> clearly, by this time, the pentagon is fully staffed. everybody who is on the job has been there at that time. >> absolutely. >> do you remember what it looked like as you were leaving your office? was there a sense of panic or fear or uncertainty? what do you remember? >> the population is not that densely packed.
but the closer i got to the scene of the airplane striking the pentagon, the more people you saw coming the other way. just panicked, and many cases -- and many cases. moving away from this fire. it is the pentagon said there are angels. you turn the corner and you just looked up and there was smoke. it just became this accident scene. thinking about it over the years, it was big heavy things. there was not fire. i am not out -- i am now outside. i still have not put the airplane piece together in my head. i just ran to this calamity, to the smoke.
there is fire on all four floors and smoke. there are big holes in the side of the building. some snapshots in my mind as if they are happening right now. five little dots. your mind to process these things as you are moving. five little dots in processing it. it was a foot with a black nail polish. it was not seaweed, it was a piece of someone's head with here watching in some kind of fresh water. what is that pile of -- that
used to be a person. as your running pass this to find out what you can do to help, these images burn on your head and they remain forever. it is as if it had just happened. >> in my mind, i picture and i can still see the sky. -- this guy. this guy i had seen every day. one of the custodial folks that i had seen every day. he said high to me every day when i saw him. very polite. we exchanged greetings for a year and a half in this job. here is this really old guy dragging to really heavy fire extinguishers to the scene of this fire. i can still picture that guy. i never saw him again. you ask me about what other people are doing. there is a stream of people
going to the scene of this horror, this inferno. of course, there are people leaving. the closer i got to where this the closer i got to where this plane, i punched through the wall. it is clear that this is the navy operations center. my friend -- this is a guy who i had roomed with at the naval academy. this was my best friend. this is where he works. >> his name? >> capt. bob dolan. my best friend.
i was in the strategy and policy division when i first got to the pentagon. we were both going to command our ships together at the same time. i finished just a little bit before he did. i got poll data that job to be part of this special project that he ended up in my job. they had just refurbished this wedge of the pentagon. he he and his strategy suburb going to be in an office in crystal city. he called me and said, do you know anyone who could find us room in the new operation center? i got him his office. he had my job in an office where i had arranged for him to be stationed. i called him and said, turn on the television.
i was really interesting in finding a friend. -- a finding my friend. some of the big heavy place -- pieces of the plane, their last little bit of momentum and to punch a hole in the innermost wall of the c-ring. there were some places you could crawl into to see if there was anybody that could be helped. i crawled into one and it was a big metal door and i could hear people pounding on the other side and screaming. i picked up the first thing i could find. i started trying to bust into the door. the yelling got louder because they could hear me. i was not making any progress.
by this point, the conduit, the wires in the ceiling were starting to melt. i took my shirt off and then wrapped it around my head. these drops of melting metal are starting to hit scan. -- skin. i was wearing a uniform very similar to this. they have to change the material a little bit. it is a little bit more fire resistant. the shoes i was wearing were a -- were not meant for firefighting. they're starting to get really uncomfortable. i crawled in and little further into the pentagon trying to find my friend, trying to find
anybody. flames are starting to get a little bit sick and the smoke gets thicker. gets thicker. i was not making any progress. i crawled out, i found another hole, it was hotter than the one i had been in. i was reluctant to stay there too long. i figured i was exactly -- i could see exactly where my friends desk should have been. it is clear that defeat is there, he is either there or close to. i am screaming for him. somebody saw me and came running out. it was an army officer covered with dust and blood. as i am focusing into this
office space, it is on fire and falling apart, there is this -- it was surreal. there was this entity staring at me, eyes open and steering. it blinked. i was looked at somebody was trapped and could not move. this person is trapped and wall has fallen on them and i'm trying to push this wall and get enough room for him to squeeze out. his desk has collapsed on him and the chair. it was not budging. i am screaming for someone to come help me. this guy is going to go soon. there are flames at his backside and their -- you cannot break is too hot.
-- you cannot breed because it is too hot. i hear this noise behind me. what is going on? i say there is a guy trapped over there and i cannot get this up. it turns out that the guy had never met before. he gets on his back with this hot plastic and metal and dripping down on him and me and he is lying on his back and see letterpresses this desk high enough for this man to slide down and the escape. his football gets caught and he is almost clear. we taken outside. -- we take him outside. it was a guy i had never met
before. he was a former naval aviator. he was working in the same complex as my friend. he got outside and we got him some medical attention. in a minute or two, we looked up at the sky and it is the same beautiful september morning than it was when i got out of my car and started my day. there was this clear blue sky and it was like, did that to capt.? i know i'm going back into find my friend. i was so fearful that i would never know him and the story would never be known.
i reached over and i grabbed his name tag and i pulled off and i stuck it in my pocket and introduced myself. it is great to me to, i will see later. i went back into try to find my friend. at that point, there was some compressed gas cylinders that started to explode and pieces of the ceiling were starting to come down. there was no more of that. no more going in to pull people out of that part of the building. it was an endless day of trying to find people. occasionally, you would find people who were lost and they could not figure out how to get out. guiding them out, giving them direction, looking for other folks, it is a huge office building. i had never seen it and to before. at that point, an hour after the
thing had begun, it was completely empty. anyone who is going to get out had lacked. -- had left. or had been rescued. or had been rescued. there was this smoky cloud and the empty offices everywhere, as if the people had just been instantly removed. instantly removed. it is something that is indescribable. it was as if he manatee -- humanity had just left. >> the gentleman that you pulled out -- >> a great guy.
his best friend also died that day. the guy he shared a small office with. jerry lives, jack died, and there were literally feet apart. it was like my friend. ironically, i saw the flight path of the airplane that flew into the pentagon. it made a pass over the pentagon and had come around for another attempt. the first path that it took would have taken it into my corridor, it into the corridor where i was sitting. it would have scared my friend. the ironies of that day -- it the ironies of that day -- it would have scarpared my friend. the day continued trying to
assist with finding other folks. incredible first responders. the pentagon police force was magnificent. no one knew what was going on. no one knew. we had probably -- everybody had either seen or heard of the second airplane into the twin towers. was there going to be a second airplane to the pentagon? we could hear airplanes occasionally fly overhead. were they combat air patrol? were they are folks trying to protect the pentagon? was it a second attack? we did not know. the fear was high, but no one stopped trying to help. it was an incredible display of bravery. especially on the part of the pentagon police force. they're wonderful. there were just great. >> did anything in your years in
the military, your training, your experiences on navy ships, prepare your for what you saw and what you personally had to do on 9/11? do on 9/11? >> that is what you do. when you are on a ship, there is no fire department that you can: for help. everything we train and teach our is to overcome the fear. our is to overcome the fear. synchronize up with the rescue and firefighting effort. that is what we do as sailors.
i will never forget the other navy folks going to the scene. >> that was my next question. what motivated you to -- obviously, you had a friend and you wanted to find out if he was safe. what motivated you? everybody else was leaving and you were heading into the scene. >> training, and he mentioned my friend. it is training and the service that we signed up to be a part that we signed up to be a part of. that is to be our and that is why we are in the military. that is what we do. i am very humbled by what i saw that day. by the heroism that i saw. the willingness to abandon
personal safety and participate, not knowing what might come crashing down, but to try to help those who might be trapped, or those who might be still alive but on able to move. it was just incredible. to this day, it moves me. >> you try to get back in, obviously, the conditions had worsened. the heat was intense. what happened next? what we thinking? >> there was no way to get into access for that part of the building. it was to try to find another way to get into the navy operation center. big pieces of the building has started to come down at that point. the thought was, it started to be some leadership, some first
responder professional first responders from fairfax county fire department, for example. the folks that we saw in haiti a years later. they were running to the scene. there were those trained professionals n/a started to arrive. arrive. a lot of activity outside . not a lot of that made its way inside at first. the fbi, the first responders, arlington and fairfax county fire department. this one guy from the arlington fire department was the first guy that had water and he came over and offered it to me. that was the water i had to drink. i will never forget the
arlington fire department. it was wonderful. it was clear that anyone probably who was going to get out had gotten out. there was this sense of relief to be alive. of sadness to know that there were people who were not alive, who started the day not having any thought that this could happen. i am often puzzled by the term victim when we talk about the pentagon or the twin towers or the field in pennsylvania. those brave people on that airplane. i do not think of anyone in that tragic day as a eighth victim. a victim is somebody who gets
hit by a meteor walking down the street. the people who died on 9/11 were not victims. there were casualties of an act of war, of an attack. in my case, our military headquarters. that afternoon, to still be trying to help and to suddenly gel that folks that were trying to reconstitute the pentagon and the navy staff. folks walked up the hill to the navy annex where the headquarters for the marine corps offered up space. corps offered up space. folks either stayed at the
pentagon and tried to help or went up to the custody and operations. it was a magnificent display of what you do any crisis. you plan for it, you train for it, and to see it actually happened was magnificent. i was on the defense review. our report to congress, the secretary defenses report to congress was due on the 30th of september. talking to some guys as we were trying to figure out what we could do to help, somebody told me, i guess that is it for the report. that was a groundswell from the
action officers and the younger guys. word quickly got out. it was such a motivating moment, a defining moment for who we are, when not only aren't we going to delay, we will turn in on time was the direction. not only are we going to turn in on time, but we now have to retool it completely because the world has just changed for our defense. this began an incredible couple of weeks as we redid the whole project. of course, we had a good foundation. it was a great reminder that this is our military headquarters. we got attacked, but this is the united states. we will not let this stop us. you're better than that. of course, we will all come to work tomorrow and we will figure out how to work around this. we have a job to do and just got harder. that is our challenge. we are up to its. that is what leaders do.
i have always been proud of being in the united states armed forces. i have never been prouder than i was on that day when i saw the leadership and the willingness to sacrifice on behalf of shipmates and fallen comrades. it was magnificent. it was a day that changed everything. >> what adjectives would you use to describe the scene? you saw the firefighters trying to bring down the smoke, which continued for hours after the attack. you were right there. was it chaotic? was it organized? how would you describe the scene as the early and mid afternoon hours evolved? >> to call its pandemonium or chaos would be a huge disservice and not accurate. there were small ax plane out. i mentioned there were four or five people caught behind a door
you could not get out of a burning building. it was able to of secure material. you have that playing out. right next to that, you have another act to occurring or someone is dragging out a person who was just been crushed and is taking them to triage. further down, you have folks leaving the operations center. they were not screened, not yelling, not in panic, but a very focused. very focused. almost universally, folks did
what they were trained to do. and what they should have done. it was a great example of people doing the right thing, not just for them, but for the common good. i am merely proud of how we responded in the immediate minutes after and in the ensuing days. i am very proud of that. >> and bring your story back to your best friend. >> so i had driven to work that day and my car was caught up in the first responder and subsequent response emergency vehicles. i could not get to my car. at 2:00 in the morning, i am
covered in soot and i only have one shoe and my uniform is in tatters and i'm just exhausted. and i had no car and my apartment is 3 miles away. apartment is 3 miles away. so i walked to the highway, walked across the highway, what to arlington and for the first time since i was probably 17, hitchhiked. at 2:00 in the morning. at 2:00 in the morning. there are not many cars . a cab drove by and then stopped and then back debt. i said, i have no money. he said, that is okay. regis at the pentagon? he said, yes, i was. he said, god bless you and i am glad your life. i said, me, too. he drove me home and did not charge me anything. i got to my apartment and i had
a gazillion answering machine messages until i got to my best friend's wife. we have not heard from bob? have you heard from bob? there were six or seven of those and i just could not listen. i knew in my heart, so i called her and i said, i was just there. there are parts of the pentagon that are sealed off. i made something up. he was not ok. navali agent found bob's academy class ring. that was the only thing that was found that you could say was still bob's. in my navy career, i have done the burials at sea.
it is a wonderful ceremony for deceased former military people. when you go all to see, -- out to sea, we stopped the ship and had a ceremony. it is a wonderful service and a great tribute to our deceased service members. they have always been cremated. a couple months after 9/11, i had the honor to a company my best friends remains to florida. it was the only full casket burial at sea i have ever done. remains, i could not say what was in there, not much.
the honor with his brother in law, a navy captain, to bury him at sea. he was my best friend. there is not a day that goes by that i did not miss him. i stopped wearing my navy rank that day. it that -- it did not mean what it meant to me after that. it is a big tradition, and it did not mean anything to me after that. i stuck it in my pocket. it was just a lucky calling at that point. i could not where it ever again. i miss him. he was a great guy. a much better a naval officer then i would never dream of being. a great dad and a great husband, too, and a great friend.
>> how do you explain this to his wife and his kids? >> well, it is funny. we talk about service to our country. at the airport, someone will come up and shake my hand, and sate thank you for your service. because i am wearing my uniform. i think of service to our country not pass just wearing a uniform, but it is what you do for your country. the most incredible service i have ever seen was done by bob's wife. she raised their two children. they are wonderful young adults now. she picked up the pieces of her broken heart and put that aside to continue to keep a home, keep his memory alive.
she is a true hero. and others like her. she is the archetype of this hero. of all the things that came out of this, it is what she has done in the aftermath of 9/11. service to your country has not much to do with wearing a uniform. i am proud to serve in this uniform, but there is a whole lot more to serving our country than putting on a uniform. by theapproached smithsonian. they asked if i had saved my uniform. when i got back to my apartment, i believe up in a trash bag and a toss in the back of my call -- in my closet. i was happy to give that. i was reluctant to give away the
name tag. it meant a lot to me. i am not a big momento keeper, but that was a momentum that i was going to keep. they were very persuasive in a kind way in explaining how important it would be as part of the history. so i donated its to the smithsonian. dave and i had never met before that day. to get acquainted after something like that was really interesting. it was a moving experience for me to go to his comments in his family and to know -- it was one of those it's a wonderful life moments. he would not have been there if not for dave and i and just
happened to find him. happen to be the right guys to get him out. that wonderful family, that happy ending. it never would have occurred. one of the ironies -- there are many ironies. many ironies. he had flown multiple missions over vietnam only to die at a desk at the pentagon would have been the irony of it all. but he did not. this defense review report was turned in on time and it was a great project and i was proud to be part of it. even more poignant to me is what happened over the ensuing 12 months at the pentagon. i was at the pentagon for another 18 months after 9/11. every day, i would go down and stare at the destroyed part of
the pentagon. word got out that the secretary of defense had turned down a challenge to the construction crew. let's bring this place back within a year. i must tell you, to watch that activity, in the wake of all of the death and the attack, to watch that reconstruction, the removal of the destroyed and the rebuilding of the pentagon, my office, my post, to watch that was incredibly inspiring. it kept me and others going. as we tried to put the pieces back of our personal lives and our offices and are destroyed projects.
>> for those who go to the smithsonian look at the exhibit, including your mementos, what you want people to take away from that? >> first of all, i would like to think that people would never forget that we as a nation must always pull together in a time of crisis and focus and the united -- and the united, protecting our values and protecting our nation. that is a delicate balance. that is an important balance to achieve. that is one of the most incredible and powerful messages that institutions like the smithsonian help promote. in our nation's capital, surrounded by all those monuments to our nation, the
goodness of our nation, to have those tangible reminders of vulnerable those freedoms, our liberties, and yet how important it is to not let that vulnerability drive us to some bad behavior. keeping that message alive, in the setting of the smithsonian, it is the most powerful piece of display. i would hope that when people visit 9/11, the display, they would remember that our freedom does not come without some cost. there is a need to be vigilant and to protect our freedoms. but also to remember that those freedoms are more than just words and more than just being able to do whatever you want.
they are in our constitution, but they require all of us to actively participate and to support each other in our nation. that is what i take away from the pentagon memorial and the 9/11 piece of the pentagon display at the smithsonian. >> what does that mean for you and why did the navy seals compelled to have these two vessels? >> we named our ships after great battles, a great leaders, a great locations, significant locations and events in our nation's history. to have something tangible to inspire. part of a crew that is something to remind you of the greatness of our nation and our people. our ability to respond to challenges and overcome.
i am very proud of all of our ships and all of our sailors and i'm especially proud to have the uss new york and the uss arlington. >> when you went to bed early in the morning on september 12, first of all, did you go to bed? did you get some sleep? >> i could not sleep. it was too much to think about. to many people to think about and try to remember to call or write a note. there was lots to do. i took a shower and got to it. >> what was racing through your head? " uncertainty about my friend, but certain date. uncertainty about what to do next, how to help, what my office mates were going through.
there was no accounting for many of them. trying to muster everyone and make sure everyone was ok and had a place to stay or knew where to go for work. many folks for in the same but i was where they could not get to their cars. thinking that it through and taking care of your shipmates, taking care of the people you work with. thinking about the mission. we have this project. where are we supposed to go? where do we work tomorrow? our office became part of the crime scene. we work around that a bit. we found additional space, and another place to work. all of our files were inside this crime scene. you cannot get there. all those big picture and small thoughts going through my head of the same time. >> at one point during this day were you able to put the entire
day's events into perspective? new york, flight 93, a pentagon, but the president addressing the nation, as all this began to unfold, you were one part >> it took weeks. it was important to get back to work and do our job and make our part of the response to this happen. to sit back -- or not sit back, to take a pau and -- pause and develop an overall picture of what happened. i didn't watch tv. i didn't have that opportunity for some weeks, to sort of catch up on all the rest of the pieces of this. i think many of the people i worked with were very intent on doing what we needed to do to
be part of, first of all, completing our project, but part of the bigger national military response to what has occurred. it was clear from that first meeting that was adjourned when that second plane flew into the building that i described earlier, it was clear there would need to be some military response, or some response that would involve the military in a big way. so ensuring that i did my best and did everything i could to make that happen correctly was the absolute focus of my attention and efforts. i mentioned earlier that everything changed that day. i have always loved the military. i have loved what i do in the nava. but i've never felt that it was more important to stay focused and give it my all than i did after 9/11. >> do you remember that day as if it were yesterday? >> absolutely. i dream about it. i think about it.
i try to draw lessons from it and in some ways try to draw strength from some of the things i saw occur that day. so yes, i remember every moment of that day as if it had just occurred. >> what do you think your friend, bob dolan, would think if he were here today? >> he was a great gee, a deep thinker, a strategic thinker. he would be as i am, but probably in a morrel quentin probably in a morrel quentin way -- more eloquent way. he was very proud of what we have been able to do. it is a tragedy at such a young age to have lost a great leader and visionary. i think he would be very proud of what has happened. i know he would be proud of how
we rekoons tutanned the navy staff and moved forward. the folks got back together and got right back in the fight. it was a real tribute to bob's leadership and him as a role model to see them all rally and get back to it despite the pain and the loss. i think he would be proud of what we have done. also, i know he would not only be proud of what we had done, but he would still be all in to continue to fight and win on any front. he was that kind of guy. >> as the anniversary approaches, the 10th anniversary, where will you be and how will you commemorate your role on 9/11? >> i will be at work.
that is how i will commemorate my role on 9/11, doing my job the best i can, making things happen the way i have been trained, the way our navy and our nation expects me to do it. are there any lessons for america and americans 10 years later? >> great question. i think just about everything i know about lessons i learned as a boy scout. be prepared. do your best to do your duty, to help other people at all times. our navy core values of honor, courage and commitment are ideals to live by. i guess those of my lessons from all this, that having ideals and values, and having some actionable guide posts
like do your best, do your duty and help other people, those are my lessons. they transcend an event like 9/11. they are enduring, and they apply to everyone. so i think being kind to people and doing your best, and making good things happen. >> final question. >> yes. >> did you go back to the area that was hit by the plane after it was reconstructed? it was reconstructed? and if so, what did you think? >> well, it was finished during my subsequent 18-month tour. so i had the great honor to watch president bush, secretary rumsfeld, mrs. bush and others rededicate it.
the first anniversary ceremony was very special, very cathartic for those of us who were still there. i did not go back to the part of the pentagon that was destroyed and then subsequently rebuilt for years. there is a chappell there now. i -- a chapel there now. i visited it a couple of times when i was first stationed there. i would like to think that we as a nation continue to move forward. we continue to cherish, commemorate and honor those who died, who were killed that day. we honor them by our, -- as a nation, our continued movement forward to continue to grow as a country and to continue to strengthen ourselves as a country, as a leader of the world, a a -- as a model for the world. so going back and visiting, to
honor my friend, to honor my fallen comrades, i do that now. i can do that, and i have recently once or twice. it's hard though, i will tell you. it's really hard because it brings it all right back like it just happened. they have done a magnificent job with the visitor's center. it is very peaceful. it is worth the trip. it is a very poignant reminder of life and how fragile life can be, but how enduring our world is, how enduring our core values and nation's values are. i do visit occasionally. not as painful as it used to be. i do it to honor my friend, my fallen comrades and those things that we value. >> admiral david thomas, thank you for sharing your story on
9/11. we appreciate it. >> you're welcome. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> major heather penny recalls the drama in the skies after district attorney -- district of columbia pilots scramble to interpret place. she took off unarmed and what she was prepared to do to bring down a plane commanded by terrorists. there is an hour. >> major heather penny of the air national guard. the morning of september 11th, 2001, how did it begin for you? >> well, it was an ordinary tuesday morning as far as we were concerned. the 121st fighter squadron, of which i was a part, we had just
participated in a red flag deployment for the previous two weeks and had returned back home that saturday. so the commanders had given the vast majority of the full-time force, which really was not that many folks at that point in time, a pass for tuesday -- or for monday to be able to reconnect with their families. so tuesday was really the first time that we were kind of getting back to work. all of our traditionals who had been david:ed to red flag were back off doing their civilian jobs. so we were settling back into the groove and planning out the week. so that morning on tuesday was really just an average morning, getting up. eating my cheerios, driving in to work. it was really just very normal. >> at about a quarter to nine when the first reports came of a plane hitting the first of the two world trade centers, what was your reaction? >> i was in the middle of a
long range scheduling meeting with the other five full-timers there in the fighter squadron. we were planning out the week and really planning out the month as well, looking at what our training priorities would be, our check ride priorities, range times, transitioning the jets into a new phase of training and flight. we were working through a lot of the administration details of getting back into our training rhythm when a knock came at the door and an enlist person opened up the door and poke their head in and said hey, somebody flew into the world trade center. we looked at each other, looked outside the win doors. as everyone remembers in washington, d.c., it was a crist lynn september morning. blue skis, clear day. it was lovely. we looked at each other puzzle because normally the weather patterns in d.c. are not that
different from what they are in new york. we all kind of laughed and thought wow, what kind of buccholzo porked his instrument approach going into new york? we thought it was some small airplane, maybe general aviation that had really made a terrible mistake coming down the hudson river. we laughed a little bit about it because we had no concept of the magnitude of what had occurred. we didn't understand it wasn't a cessna 172 which realistically probably dent the building, hardly cause any kind of tragic, as opposed to what it truly was. so we did not understand. >> where were you when you first saw the picturing of this gaming hole on the side of the world trade center? >> well, after we got the first word, we went back to our meeting. we continued to discuss and plan out the week and the flying schedule as normal
because we did not understand or have any way to comprehend -- i mean there was no other information regarding how serious the situation was. it wasn't until the second aircraft struck the second world trade center that the enlisted folks came in and said a second plane hit the world training center and it was on purpose. then the meeting immediately dissolved, and we went to go see what was reported in the media. that is when all of us really understood as a visceral level that the world had changed. >> at that time in 2001, what was your job? what were your responsibilities? >> i was a brand new first lieutenant. it just gotten to the fighter squadron in january of 2001. so i was the training officer. i was in charge of managing and tracking the combat training that we do astin weighs training for all of our fighter
pilots to ensure we are ready and qualified in all of our vents that we are to do, whether that is air to air dogfighting, intercepts, missile shoots, bombings and things like that. my job was to manage that and make sure everybody was qualified to do that. i was also a brand new wingman, have graduated from the f-16 basic course. so i was still a young fighter pilot learning my trade. >> where is andrews in connection to washington, d.c., and were you stationed there in 2001? >> i was stationed at andrews, that is where the 121st fighter squadron is located at. the fighter side is on the east side of the base, which is really only about eight nautical miles as the crow flies from the pentagon. >> so walk us through the morning after the second plane hit the second tower? what was happening, who were you talking to?
what was the reaction at andrews among your colleagues? >> initially there was a lot of confusion because if you can remember 10 years ago, there was really -- there were no real air defense units. the air defense units which had been set up and used to populate the continental united states to defend our sovereign soil from the soviet bear, when the soviet union collapsed, that had been drawn down significantly throughout the 1990's. so my unit, which once upon a time used to sit alert for sovereignty missions for norad and air force, were no longer doing that. we were a general purpose unit designed to go to war, not necessarily to protect american
soil. as a result, our chain of command did go go up to norad or up through the first air force. so when the first aircraft hit the trade centers and it was clear to norad and first air force that they needed to defend erik's skies, -- america's skies, they had no method or even to know that the d.c. national guard was there in d.c. and was available. there was no clear authority to be able to reach down to us. so just as they couldn't reach down to us, we had no way to be able to reach up into them to get authorization to go fly. so there was a lot of confusion. as a young wingman, really kind of the most i could do was stand there and ready to be tasked as i watch my leadership in a very creative and ad hoc way try to reach up through their chain of command to be able to get authority to launch.
>> i want to come back to the time line, but how did you personally prepare prior to 9/11? >> i didn't. because that was not one of our doctrinal taskings, there was no alert training for me as a wingman. my job was to learn how to go to war. my job was not to learn how to set alert. there were no rules of engagement. i hadn't even thought about what that kind of mission might be like on american soil. defensive counter air, which is probably the closest i had trained to is typically something planned for. it is in the air tasking order, something we might do to protect a base overseas, but really wasn't something we had thought about regarding having to do on the good old u.s.
i had never been trained to how do i scramble the aircraft. so i had never done a scramble start. to give you a little bit of perspective, when you start an f-16, especially before we had g.p.s. on the aircraft, and at that time we did not have g.p.s. we had initial -- inner shall navigation units. it would take us 20 minutes to start the jets, go through all the preflight checks to ensure that all the systems were operating properly, program the computers in the aircraft, and that is not including the time to look at the forms and do the walk-around of the airplane and what not. so we usually planned about a half hour to 40 minutes from the time you walked out the door to the time you actually took off. as the new guy, i was very concerned -- i mean i was going to do everything right, and i was going to do everything by
the book because attention to detail and ensuring that you execute perfectly is part of a fighter pilot creed, and that was what i was learning to do. what was demanded of us that morning was completely seat of the pants as par as i was -- far as i was concerned. >> explain the term scramble the aircraft. >> a scramble start is where -- specifically towards how we execute the mission now, a execute the mission now, a scramble start is once the horn goes off, you can run to the jet, start it expeditiously and get airborne within a minimum set of minutes. that is single digits, not even double-digits. it is a very quick reaction to some kind of external threat so you can get airborne and get to
whatever you are trying to protect. >> the president is in florida, the vice president is at the white house. the transportation secretary is ordereded all planes across the country to be grounded. a third plane hits the pentagon. where were you when all that happened? >> when it was clear that there was a threat to the d.c. area, which we immediately assumed once that second aircraft had hit the world trade center. >> why did you assume that? >> because washington, d.c. is the heart of the united states. it is the nation's capital, the center of the free world. so as ominous as those two aircraft hitting the world trade center were, it was very clear to us that we needed to get airborne to protect washington, d.c. before, the challenge was how do we get authorization to be
able to get airborne. national guard units have two separate chains of command. we have a federal chain of command. but in order for that federal chain of command which thens mobilizes -- then mobilizes us into the active duty air force, and then there are lines that go up through the active air force, to the secretary of defense and then to the president, you have to be major league baseballized to make -- mobilized to make that happen. then there is the standing chain of command up through the government. the d.c. chain of command doesn't go to the mayor of d.c. we had to work our civilian chain of command to activate that to try and get permission to become airborne. as a young wingman, my job was to -- like up, i was standing
around waiting for someone to tell me what to do so that i could support what we were trying to be able to get airborne. what i basically did was i took -- we had data transfer cart ridges. think of it as a large floppy disc or thumb drive. whether or not it was weapons information, navigational information, et cetera, that we program before we get to the aircraft. we can take this data cartridge and plug it into the jet and download all that information. what i was doing while my leadership was trying to energize the chain of command up ward to get authorization to launch, i was programming the jets, programming the transfer cartridges. it was based off of what was in
the d.c. area. where is the capital, where is the national mall. where is critical infrastructure? where are all the little airports, things like that. >> do you remember what you were thinking during that time period? so much going on. >> i was focused on sexe tissuesly -- expeditiously lowing the cartridges and freeing myself up so thatic do whatever the next thing necessary was. >> do you remember if i had a moment that morning to kind of absorb everything that was happening? >> it sounds counterintuitive but when the magnitude of the situation hit me, i really lost ali motion. i didn't have an emotional
reaction at all. it was really much more focused on what are the things that i need to do to enable us to protect our captain? what are the things i need to do to facilitate us getting airborne? the most time i had for reflection was when i finished up loading up the d.t.c.'s, standing at the ops counter and observing what leadership was doing and trying to anticipate what the next step might be so that i could be of more use. so we had lute colonel phil thompson, took over as superintendent of flying duties. our weapons officers had been acting as the supervisor of flying. but dog took over to free him up because he was also our weapons officer so that he could begin to manage and
prepare for what we anticipated , being able to get airborne. our wing commander, general worley, came down and was standing there at the ops desk trying to get information, again trying to energize the chain of command. one thing that was special or unique about our situation at andrews, because it is also the home of air force one, we had established a relationship with secret service in the air traffic control tower. when air force one moves, the secret service owns the air field so they can provide better protection for the president. so we had established a relationship with them in order to manage the impact to our daily flying ackleys. so one of the things going on was dan kane called the secret service, called the guys in the tower, folks he new through a personal relationship to say we
are here, we can help. have someone tell us what to do. and having general worley address that as well. in flying with the phase in training we were in, we don't train with real bombs that have explosives on them. we either train with no weapons on board and able to simulate actual weapon deployment, or we train with very small concrete projectiles which can mimic the actual profile of real weapons. we realistically had nothing that we would be able to do if we got -- we would take off unarmed. so the other thing that we did, which was very out of the box, but realizing the seriousness of the situation, he called
down to the bomb dump, which is locateded far away from any population on the base because that is where the things that go boom live, so you want that isolated. the guys that live down there, they have no television or radio. they are living in a world where to them it is just another beautiful blue tuesday morning. then they get this phone call that says hey, i want you to build up some real a-9 heat-seeking missiles. what are you talking about? trust me. do it. so razen was energizing by anticipating what we needed to do. but that was going to take some time. >> where were you and what do you remember you were thinking when you heard that another plane had hit the pentagon? >> sickened that we weren't >> sickened that we weren't airborne first.
it simply increased the sense of urgency to the situation. >> then what happened? >> well, we had had three aircraft airborne earlier that morning for a training mission down in north carolina in dare county. it was a very basic bombing mission, basic surface attacks, they were going to do some strafing with bullets as well. one guy had gotten down to what we call his bingo gas. it is the fuel that whatever you are doing, you need to come home. that is going to be the fuel you need to come home. so he had been rushing -- returning on his own when the towers were hit. and because he was coming back home, and air traffic control knew he was an f-16, he was
getting unusual queries. hey, do you have any missiles or bombs on board? he called back to the ops desk, talking to doc thompson. he said hey, what is going on? don't worry about it. just come home. how much glasson have you got? just come home and land. he came in, and he landed. then the two other guys that were still down at the range, doug called the range control officer and said tell these guys to come home and tell them to buster, which means as fast as you can. they also were getting questioned by air traffic control. when they lappeded, dog asked them -- landed, dog asked them how much gas to you do do you have? one had just enough to take
off. they knew that they anticipated another aircraft in bound, flight 93 retrospectively. he said take off and look down the river. so billy took off and did a sweep to the south and to the north, and then he landed. when he was taking off again is when we were taxiing to get airport. >> we talked with madeline, and she said that the vice president had talked to the president about having the shoot to kill orders for what was ultimately flight 93 that crashed in shanksville, pennsylvania. did you get those orders? did your unit get those orders? what was transpiring? >> well, there were four of us. once we finally got word -- actually four of us, mark,
myself, we were paired up. then cain, and then a fellow names rasmu is everyone sen was going to be a two ship. we had a brief, briefing regarding taking off, where we were going and how to stay together.-- we would take off f. >> that made two plans? , sass and i would take off. then they would take off. they would wait however longer they needed to. it was clear that, as you said,
we would take the aircraft down. >> were you prepared for that? were you prepared to shoot down a commercial passenger jet? >> we would not be shooting it down. we would be ramming the aircraft. we did not have weapons on board to be able to shoot the airplane down. between -- both sass and i had 100 bullets, not high incendiary explosives. so we were putting on our flight gear in the light short shop. sass looked at me and said he would ram the cockpit. i have made the decision that i would take the tail off the aircraft. if you are in the cockpit, the debris of the airfield, it would
be awful word debris field. but if i took off the tail of the aircraft, it would essentially go straight down. the pattern of debris would be minimized. the people on flight 93 were heroes. but they were going to die no matter what. my concern was, how do i minimize collateral damage on the ground? how do i keep it from going forward depending on where we might intercept the aircraft? >> explained more specifically how that operation would potentially have worked if that aircraft were still airborne, and how you would have looked for aircraft in added 93? >> we knew that one was coming down the river. down the river. we ran down the sidewalk and we
jumped in the aircraft. it was funny, because like i said, i was the new guy. i was trying to do everything by the book and this was so not by the book. we were improvising everything and making it up on ago. based off of our experience and knowledge of tactics, of weaponry, and flying the aircraft, and what information we have been able to gather from the situation. but i run down to my airplane and my first instinct was to look at the forms and sass said, what you doing? get in the airplane. we jumped up into the air planning got it started in completely -- in the airplane and got it started. i did barebones to make sure that the airplane was safe and pliable. but i distinctly remember sass
taxiing, and i am yelling and my crew chief, paul the talks -- at my crew chief, pull the cho cks. so that might care will, come -- so that my dear will come up. -- gears will come up. i am taxiing to go to an immediate tax. i did not have -- it is fortunate that it was a clear blue day. we were essentially visual flight rules. we do not have all of the avionics -- we were not yet awake when we took off. >> what time was this? >> to be honest, i do not know. i think it was sometime after
10:30 a.m. >> you said that you kept your emotions in check. did you get nervous energy or was it a mission that you knew you had to achieve? >> it was not so much that i kept my emotions in check. they just did not exist. they were not even there. there was significant adrenaline. it was really just, dear god, please don't let me screw up. >> you get up in the air. what happened? explain more what you were looking for and how the events transpired over the next 90 minutes. >> well, we took off. we taxied out, got clearance to take out before we even got to the runway, sass took off and i
took off right after him. we went to a loose route and then added to the northwest. the atomic was giving as vectors for where they thought and anticipated where the threat might be. -- potomac was giving us sectors for which it thought and anticipated where the threat might be. it was surreal. it was totally surreal to see the billowing black smoke. and when we took off, we did not get high. we stayed at 3,000 feet. so we were smoking over the city at very low altitude. we never got above 3,000 feet, not on my first sweep out. we need to make sure that we
stated low for visual look out as well as for the radar. >> at that point and, what was the chain of command like for you? was the communication better? were you getting what was required? >> no, not at that point in time. we knew what our mission was. and that was the singular focus, was the communication to makeme and ansass, sure that we had a comprehensive sweep, visual lookout to see if there was another airliner. i don't know how many nautical miles we got away from d.c., but we flew down the potomac, and the further we got out, the further we spread out.
maybe he might change the access of where he was coming in. maybe he got sneaky. but we got to the point to go back home and live over -- fly over d.c., because we sanitize the area. flight 93 is not in the near vicinity and able to attack at that point in time. so we need to get back and make sure that we can play the short goalie game. so when returned to d.c., that was when things began to -- on the one hand, they settled down. flight 93 was not there. and as we discovered later, the passengers on that flight were
truly yours. -- he rose. then we had to get into the business of making sure that all the aircraft, on the ground. there were as many small general aviation for small commercial business aircraft that had not gotten word that the faa had grounded everyone. so there was a lot of aviation going on, where we had to sanitize the air space. there were tremendous number of first responders. we needed to work with potomac to make sure anyone who was near the national capital was someone who was supposed to be airborne. if they were not, we were going to turn them away. >> if this is a total hypothetical, but you are flying over washington in you potentially have to bring down a plane in the nation's capital. in the light of everything, did you give any thought as to how
you would do that over the city? >> are you talking for a commercial airliner? >> anything, you describe the tools that you had to bring down a plane. it is over washington, d.c. versus of more rural area, did you give any thought as to how you do that? >> it would be taking off the tail, where i would essentially be a kamikaze and land my aircraft into the tail of the aircraft. what i have a time to eject? i would need to ensure -- you have only have one chance. you do not want to eject and mr. you have to stick with that the hallway. -- can mess.
you have to stick with -- and miss. you have to stick with it the hallway. we would fly in front -- the whole way. we would pump out a clear from the aircraft and basically turn those other aircraft away. we would also get on the victor frequency to call the card and tried to communicate with the aircraft that way. 1 21.5 is the frequency that all pilots know about. it is universally you get in trouble or need help. -- it is universal if you get in trouble or need help. we would also try to get them out on guard. >> you are prepared to take your own life if necessary to bring down that plane. >> of course. >> of course.
>> when did you get word about shanksville? >> we got word not specifically that it had crashed but that it was the longer a threat. -- it was no longer a threat. my memory is relatively fuzzy but maybe an hour or so? after we had gotten airborne. >> and yet there was still a lot of uncertainty. reports of bombs going off at the state department and other planes in the air. at that point, what are you doing? same mission? >> it was the mission to protect the national capital region. what happened then, was that isin and igor were working
with the atomic air traffic controllers. this is such a testament to the professionalism and ability of the air traffic controllers at the potomac. because there thought is to keep airplanes separated in on the route, which is like roads in the sky, and a certain number of minutes or miles apart from each other and in less than five minutes they learned how to speak military fighter pilot to us, as if they were a contact controller. because if you can imagine 360 radios coming out, it is one of the ways that you navigate.
you take the mileage off of that radio. instead of calling the washington reagan vortak, you call it bull's-eye. and that there is someone who might be on the 090 radio, you call it 090. instantaneously, these guys got it. they adapted and changed how they had been trained to operate in separating aircrafts to learning how to bring aircraft together into intercepts and giving us vectors to go intercepts somebody. or for example, if we had a hit on an entity out there, i declare,030, 2,000 feet, and
potomac would say, that is medevac, he is clocking 563, and he is headed for publication. or something like that. they were quickly able to start speaking military speak. because we were now talking the same language, we could then discern and differentiate between who were the first responders, who was supposed to be airborne, who were helping the good guys, and who are the unknowns falling around because they did not get the news and they were unintentionally airborne, because they did not know any better, and it was potentially a threat. the first responders, we let them go on their way. anyone else, we would go check out. >> when did you get back on the ground?
>> about four hours area. norad had started their response. folks down at langley to cough, but they were factored over the atlantic ocean. -- folks down at langley took -- folks down at langley took off, but they were vectored over the atlantic. norad had also scrambled some tankers out over the atlantic as well. so when those guys came and over dc-8, neads, which is part of norad, but it is regional control, they called potomac and said that they had the clints airborne. so we began working with the clints, and they had air fueling
capability over the atlantic. that enabled us to stay airborne for four hours. and we look to see if there was -- the higher up, the further out you can see with your radar. so they had the high look, looking out over the atlantic. and then we had a x cap, where i had the northeast leg, sass at the northwest lead, raisin had the southwest leg, and igor had the southeast leg. we were keeping aircraft away from d.c. >> when you got on the ground, did you have the chance to watch the news? how did your afternoon unfold? >> i landed in went to the
bathroom. i send an e-mail to my parents to let them know that i was alive. then i was rounded up by the colonel because there was national guard leadership wanted to know about what we did. when needed to build their situational awareness with what we had done. we were taken to the readiness center to breathe a number of general officers trying to -- brief on number of general officers who were trying to respond and protect our nation. as a first lieutenant, one of the first places where i had never seen so many stars in my life. it was it dark room and they were bright lights and our faces. i was really glad that sass was doing most of the talking. >> to you remember most of the questions?
>> very focused on what did you >> very focused on what did you see, and it was the state of the cap at that point in time. they just wanted to know what was going on with the x cap that we had put up. sass told them about the tanker and the clints in the high look. nothing earth shattering about what we were able to tell them. but it was a really unusual day. one moment of levity, we walked one moment of levity, we walked out and sass asked if he had cursed. but we were low on people in the
base had shut down. there were not letting anyone on base and were not letting anyone off base. so we did not have that many pilots that we could fly. it was a very quick turn for us. i do not think that we were on the ground for more than an hour. >> how were your emotions at that point? >> the adrenaline was draining away. after the initial intercept, or the takeoff and a sweep of the northwest, i had brought down a lot of general aircraft, turning them away, getting them to land. that had become somewhat retained. -- routine. we are not getting complacent, but the immediate threat had gone down. at this time, i was taking off with a full load of bullets and
the heat seeker missiles. so i had missiles on board at that time. >> did you have a chance to eat during the day? >> know. -- no. >> when you look back at that date, and you think about all that you went through, what goes through your mind? >> it is interesting. when i took off that day, we did not know what would happen. sass and i fully expected to intercept flight 93 and take it down. so the experience of the moment
is very different from the reflected experience. because reflecting on it, i did not change history. i did not keep the pentagon from being hit. so the experience of the moment and did we change the course of events, they are two different things. so how you resolve those -- i do not know that you really do. but couple of weeks later, when we had gone into the routine of a combat air patrols and what not, our commander who is now the wing commander, just a
tremendous man, had gone to the pentagon for some briefing on what the d.c. guard had done. it was really unprecedented, from september 11 through the next three weeks, the d.c. air national guard on been controlled the cap -- to combat air patrol. we were the cap commanders and then we would commit fighters that were in the cap to go intercept or investigate if someone else came in. it was a very unusual control structure. so he had gone to the pentagon as part of the lessons learned and the hotwash, because how could this happen, so there was an intense analysis and study
of the failures that led up to that point, and what was our response, and how do we learn. he came back in gathered us all into the mission briefing room and told us the story of what someone had said to him when he was walking to the pentagon. someone saw his flight suit and patches and saw that he was from the d.c. guard. they had been in the pentagon when it was hit. so they -- this individual had been part of the end -- the evacuation at the pentagon. what folks coming out of the east side, they had a child development center, and a woman was handing out babies because they could not carry enough babies out of the child development center. so they were trying to evacuate these kids. imagine, i am a mother now myself, and so just imagine what
that must of been like. you were seeing these pentagon workers and service members rushing out of the pentagon and trying to get these children to a place of safety. and the acrid smoke was billowing up. the smell of that jet fuel, and all of the burning debris, and the burning flesh. and the ashes falling down -- nobody knew. there was no information for these individuals evacuating the building. was there another coming in? there had been two that hit the world trade center. and then we flew over. in full after burner. coming in low. cried over the pentagon as we headed north. we were looking for flight 93. and the entire crowd erupted into cheers because they knew at that point in time that they
were safe. because we were airborne and we would not let anyone else, and heard them. >> you did how many missions after 9/11 over d.c.? >> koch, i do not know. we stayed airborne -- i one up for a second day -- i went out for a second day and escorted the president on air force one. that second mission was very interesting. that is when we were given authority for free fire. typically for the rules of engagement, it is very strict. we are very deliberate about who has the authority to authorize whether or not you hit the button and the missile comes out of the jet. in a free fire zone, that decision lays with a pilot.
so that authorization came out during the second sortie. and at last -- and it lasted for some time thereafter. it is a testament to the professionalism of the fighter pilots who manned the combat air patrol over d.c. that no one was pickle-happy, if you will. everyone understood how serious that charge was. and what that kind of responsibility was. responsibility was. not only the charge it to protect the national capital region but to protect the capital of the free world, but also the consequences if you did not make the right call. so it gives me tremendous faith
in the quality of our servicemen, from the combat controllers to the guys on the ground to the fighter pilots and the war fighters actually doing the deed, it gives me tremendous faith in their level of training and professionalism that no mistakes were made. >> president george w. bush and air force one coming in late afternoon on september 11, how unusual is it for you another fighter jets to guide air force one? >> the president is constantly escorted. escorted. air force one, there is always a level of safety. the types of escorts and what not, that is up to the secret service. that is part of their plan. it was unusual for us, though,
because that is not a typical mission -- well, we had never done anything like that before. it was fairly unusual, but to be honest, it was anticlimactic compared to the first mission. we had spent a sufficient amount of time during the course of my first sortie, and then guys had taken off after me. by the time of the evening sortie, things were fairly quiet. everyone was on the ground except for the first responders. so what really was not that busy when we were given a call. >> a couple personal question. did you talk your parents at what point that day? >> on my way home. no, it was after i got home. >> what did you tell them? what was your conversation like? >> my mother was really emotional. my dad, he is an old fighter
pilot. so he was asking more specific questions. they were both just glad that i was ok. >> that evening when you went to bed, do you remember what your thinking? and when did your day and? >> i probably got home sometime after 11:00 p.m. and i just fell into bed. >> your perk yourself as lucky. -- representative for yourself as lucky. who: to that? >> i was going to say, you do not name yourself. when you become combat mission lesson, the guys in your fighter squadron and amy. oftentimes, it might be a play on your last name, like mine, a lucky penny. better lucky, or will be based off of some silly thing that you
have done. the names that should be witty, they should be humbling, but it also has to be something that you would be proud to stand up in front of your fellow fighter pilots and say, hey, my name is let the penney and i will be your mission commander today. -- lucky penney and i will be mission commander today. >> you have been to iraq twice under what circumstances? >> the first time i went to war iraq was in 2003 as part of the initial operations, iraqi freedom. we were part of the 410th expeditionary wing. we operated in western iraq, in the western desert, specifically
to deter s and tocuds that may have our coalition partners -- to deter scuds that may hit our coalition partners purred we also did support throughout western iraq. >> if you look back 10 years later, what you went through and what the country in the world went through, what do you think? >> well, these obviously are very personal opinions. as a member of our military, i truly believe that there are some things more important than me. which is why i am willing if necessary to sacrifice myself for the things that we believe
in as americans. the constitution, freedom, democracy, our rights, our way of life. and i know there is a certain amount of risk inherent in that. not necessarily as being a service member, but democracy is it necessarily open. that is one of the cultural values that we have. and i often wonder this. and i often wonder this. if we have for seconsaken what t means to be americans in our response to try to assure our citizens of security. there is no such thing as perfect security.
there is a line in "finding nemo,"nothing is going happen to him. it is a cute way of saying that if we are going to be america and everything that america stands for, we cannot as citizens to expect our government provide 100% security. i believe that there are smart things that the government should do to mitigate this. and it is important for our national interests, but have we been overzealous? as the pendulum swung too far? such that we are advocating -- abdicating our values set in terms of what it means to be
americans, in our desire to be totally safe? the america that i know and i believe in is resilience, this courageous, is strong, and we saw that spirit after 9/11. but we also saw, i think, a desire from individuals and people to want to be assured of perfect security, to know that they will be completely safe and that they are willing to give up some of those rights and freedoms, that openness, so that they can be perfectly secure and perfectly safe. and that is not the courageous resilience of america that i know. when i think back to 9/11 and what it means to me personally, and how things have changed over the last decade, and what is the
america that i want my daughters to grow up and, that kind of america i wanted to be, i think there is something special about us. i think they make -- that america is truly the greatest nation on earth, and i want to have an open heart of pride in that, that they are not afraid and they will refuse to be cowed. and i understand there is some risk involved in that. and i'm not advocating that we be foolish and except unnecessary risks. -- and accept unnecessary risk. but my father my grandfather, my mother and grandmother, part of the greatest generation, and i think we are, too. we should act like it. >> your dollars are held? >> they are five and seven now. >> when they say what is your
role on 9/11, what you tell them? >> they do not know why 9/11 is now. >> when they get older, they will ask questions. >> i will say that i was there. >> i will say that i was there. and when they are of the aged and it is appropriate to talk more in depth regarding what my personal experience was, and it is also important to talk about. obviously it was not just about me in what i did in my aircraft. the tremendous response of the firefighters and a policeman, -- and policemen, and strangers helping strangers in a new york, and here in d.c. i would want to use my story as a gateway to help them think about what everyone else went
through on that day. through on that day. this is in many ways our generation's pearl harbor, if you will. i would want to give them some perspective on what things were like before, was america like before. once upon a time you go through an airport and meet your family at the gate and walked off the airplane. there are things in our daily life that fundamentally changed. i want to give them an idea of what america was like before and how this change does -- changed us. have them stepped outside themselves and get into the issues of other people, and that my story can be a gateway to that, give them some perspective, and help them identify more with our national
experience and narrative of who we are and what it means to be americans. >> major heather penney, thank you for sharing your story with us. >> thank you. >> in his weekly address, president obama marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by paying tribute to the men and women in the military, first responders, and those who lost their lives. we will also hear from former new york city mayor rudy giuliani who talks about how counter-terrorism efforts have made the nation safer, but why improved measures are needed. >> this weekend we are coming together as one nation to mark the 10th anniversary of the september 11 attacks.
we are remembering the lives that we lost, nearly 3000 innocent men, women, and children. we're reaffirming our commitment to always keep faith with their families. we are honoring the heroes of first responders who risked their lives and gave their lives to serve ours -- others. and we're giving thanks to all those who serve on our behalf, especially our troops and military families, our extraordinary 9/11 generation. at the same time as we reflect on a difficult decade, we must look forward to the future we will build together. that includes staying strong and confident in the face of any threat. thanks to the tireless efforts of our military personnel and our intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security professionals, there should be no doubt today america is stronger and al qaeda is on the path to defeat. we've taken the fight to al qaeda like never before. over the past 2.5 years, more senior al qaeda leaders have been eliminated than they did
the time since 9/11. thanks to them courage and persistence of our forces, we finally delivered justice to osama bin laden. with stink than the trolls that we need -- we have strengthened the tools we need to disrupt plots. investing in our special forces so that terrorists have no safe haven. we're constantly working to improve the security of our homeland as well. at our airports, ports, and borders, enhancing screening and increasing support for our first responders and working closer than ever with states, cities, and communities. a decade after 9/11, it is clear for all the world to seek that the terrorists who attacked us that september morning are no match for the character of our people, the resilience of our nation, or the endurance of our values. they wanted to terrorize us but as americans we refuse to live in fear. yes, we face a determined foe and they will keep trying to hit us again.
but as we shall again this weekend, we remain vigilant. we're doing everything in our power to protect our people. no matter what comes our way, we will carry on. they want to draw us into endless wars, sapping our strength and confidence as a nation. but even as we put relentless pressure on al qaeda, we are ending the war in iraq and beginning to bring our troops home from afghanistan. after a hard decade of war, it is time for nation building kirit home. they wanted to deprive us of the unity that defines of has a people. -- tosses a people. but we are americans and we are stronger and safer when we stay true to the values, freedom, and diversity that makes us unique among nations. and they wanted to undermine our place in the world. but a decade later, we have shown that america does not hunker down and hide behind walls of distress. we've forged new partnerships with nations around the world that speak the challenges -- to meet the challenges no nation
can face alone. and new generations of citizens are showing that the future belongs to those that want to build, not destroy. 10 years ago, ordinary americans showed us the true meaning of courage when they rushed up those stairwells, into those planes, and into that cockpit. in the decade since, a new generation has stepped forward to serve and keep us safe. in their memory, in their name, we will never waver. we will protect the country we love and pass it safer, stronger, and more prosperous to the next generation. >> everyone can remember exactly where they were when they first learned that our country had been attacked. after pearl harbor, and the john f. kennedy assassination, the defining events have a big impact on the nation because they are not just a shared experience, they are shared memory. on the 10th anniversary of the attack, we must take stock of what we have learned. the attacks at two purposes.
the first was to kill as many americans as possible. the second was to destroy america's spirit. remember that thousands of lives were lost on that date. there is no doubt that terrorist achieved their first goal. and it leaves us with a deep wound up forever. when it comes to destroying our spirit, however, as we consider the rescue and recovery effort we witnessed in the aftermath of the attacks, it is clear that the terrorists failed. the country was not broken. rather, it was more united in the days after september 11 that it anytime in my lifetime. we displayed heroic spirit in many ways. but the most heroic was the unity of spirit that we shared as americans. the american people demonstrated one of the most basic values that we share, our love of freedom and the value we place on individual human life. people often ask me is america safer now than it was before
september 11? the answer is, yes. but not as safe as we should be. we are safer because we face a difficult truth -- the danger that we allowed to fester and grow without confronting properly was suddenly staring us in the face. the engagement of islamic extremist terrorism in iraq and afghanistan is an important part of having prevented additional large-scale attacks. we've made significant improvements in intelligence gathering in an airport security. but much work remains. we have not significantly improve port security. our state and local governments range from very well prepared to not prepared at all. we've seen some mass of breakdowns in security as demonstrated by the near attack on christmas morning in 2009, as well as the inappropriate decision making and a rational application of political correctness in the attack at fort hood.
perhaps the most dangerous samples we have a level is impatience. demonstrated by the cost of put our armed forces on timetables. it is the re-emergence of the dangerous historical pattern that sometimes a flix america, the desire to demilitarize by minimizing the dangers that we face. and that is led to catastrophes in the past, when islamic terrorist were attacking us regularly. americans security requires a long-term military presence in that part of a world where people and organizations are plotting to kill us. the timetable should not be based on a politically expedient calendar. blown when we have eliminated the threat of domestic attacks being generated in that particular part of the world. we must not allow patients to prevent our military from achieving its objective in iraq
and afghanistan, and the objective is the elimination of the threat to our nation. finally, america must take care of those who were harmed during the difficult and dangerous recovery efforts. we must not forget what it meant to the country to watch these brave men and women work for recovery, and they should not be abandoned now if they become ill. we are responsible for taking care of them. after all, they took care of us. the lesson of september 11 is that america is truly exceptional. we withstood the worst attack in our history, intended by our enemies to destroy us. instead, it draws closer and it made us more united. our love for freedom and one another has given us the strength and pride in ourselves. at the same time, it is a strength of must be guarded and nurtured. we must rediscover our unity.
we must never forget what we have witnessed on that day. both the in comprehensible face of pure evil and the death of love and compassion. -- depth of love and compassion. tenures later, the memory remains etched into our national character. >> next, the dedication ceremony for the flight 93 national memorial in shanksville, pennsylvania. then 9/11 remembrances by tom daschle and gary walters. >> tomorrow on "washington journal," we mark the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by shelling portions of the oral history compiled by our tv steppers we will also take calls from viewers reflecting on the impact of the day into our lives. "washington journal," live at
7:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. >> tomorrow that tenure anniversary -- the 10-year anniversary of 9/11. at a 30 a.m., a memorial ceremony from the world trade center site with president obama and former president bush. on c-span2 at 9:00, by its president biden from the pentagon. at c-span3 at 930, those who lost their lives on flight 93. >> next, a dedication ceremony for the first phase of the flight 93 national memorial in shanksville, pennsylvania. it was attended by a by spot -- by president biden, former president bush, former first lady laura bush, and others. the memorial is located where the plane crashed as the
of the national park service, and an proud to be here with the families of the heroes of flight 93 to dedicate this memorial to your loved ones. today we also recognize those who made this memorial to the passengers and crew of flight 93 error reality. people from this community, from the state, and from across the nation to shared an unwavering commitment to make this field in shanksville, pennsylvania and eternal tribute to those who insult this -- whose unselfish actions spare the lives of so many. thousands of people have made the journey to be here in the solemn place and millions more are watching and listening to the ceremony. please, welcome you all. but we also welcome several of our distinguished guests, the speaker of the house john bender, -- john boehner -- [applause]
members of the congressional delegation who are here with us as well. [applause] their many state elected officials as well, representing the state of pennsylvania. [applause] and there are many local officials who have been so instrumental in protecting the sight over the years. [applause] 10 years ago, flight 93 took off from newark, new jersey down to san francisco. terrorists hijack the plane and three others that terrible day as part of an organized attack on this country. the hijackers turn the plane toward washington, d.c., aimed at, we believe, at the united states capitol, where but house and senate were in session.
they never made it. because of the determination and a dollar of the passengers and crew of flight 93, that plane crashed in this field. less than 20 minutes by air from its presumed target. in the days that followed, as a courageous story of what happened aboard flight 93 emerged, the flag that had been at half staff of of the u.s. capitol was brought here by senators arlen specter and rick santorum to fly in solemn tribute above the recovery personnel and the infested quarters -- and the investigators as they pored through the wreckage. i ask that you turn your attention to that poll behind me as two fbi agents here during that investigation will once again raise that flag, the flag that flew over the u.s. capitol on september 11, as the first
black death fly over this permanent memorial. as we dedicate this memorial and commemorate the entire story that it tells, those who lost their lives are never far from our thoughts or from the thoughts of those who were scared by their actions. among us today are people who work in the -- who were in the capital that day. i would ask him to please stand. -- the them to please stand. [applause] >> i would invite everyone to stand for the indication, offered by the chaplain of the house of representatives since 2001, and remain standing for the singing of the national anthem and the presentation of the colors.
>> let us pray. god, bless america. here we stand, united in memory and dedication. here our prayer rises on hallowed ground, made sacred by a great heroic self sacrifice so others might live. here is found the beginning of a new national pledge of allegiance, inspired by those who would grasp the few moments given them to take matters into their own hands and surely make a difference. resolved never to be victims of circumstances, here living americans witness to a truth beyond themselves, their hope to free other is, who with them
will change the world. the desire to end terrorism and violence, they became willing seeds planted for freedoms harvest. only unbelievers keep seeking for a sign for your forgiveness and love. we know that you have heard the prayer's murmured here over a decade. have we not witnessed enough? ordinary people on their way to work or family reunions offered on the altar of this palne all that they had, all that they loved. they refused to be paralyzed,
finding within themselves an art beyond politics. they break the silence and decidedly act together. they do only what is possible in an impossible situation. because they are your children, but they find within themselves true freedom. from them, lord, teaches how to release ourselves and draw us together to rush forward to the future, unafraid, because you again give us our direction. lord, by this dedication, lift up a strawsin and death to renewed faith in prayer. bring us and all of our sisters and brothers to a new life or
>> you may be seated. p>> this memorial is to 40 premarkable people. p>> less than 30 minutes they punderstood their situation and pvoted on what to do and acted. peach of them is an american phero. ppoet, robert penski will sharea preading and call the names of pthe passengers and the crew. peach of the responders will tol pthe bell of remembrance.
pa steadfast of this memorial ad phis brother will offer this is pthoughts on this day on this pmemorial. probert. p>> any people, a people is wha pit remembers. pfor us the american people, pflight 93 because we remember t phas become a significant part f pwho we are. pand what we are as a people. phowever, let's confess and packnowledge that in a commutua poccasion of memory, and when w pspeak of memory, we are also pthinking about forgetting.
pand we can't know what our pgrandchildren will remember, pthough we know they will premember this. pthere is always the fear of th pwaters of (inaudible) and rive pof forgetfulness. pand a poem of the 19th century pleasy is mentioned. phere is the two-line poem. pon love, on grief, on every phuman thing. ptime sprinkled leasy's water pwith his wing. pand it's true, on love and pgrief, forgetfulness is psometimes sprinkled. pthe two short poems i will rea pto you deal first with the way pwe can't help what we remember. pno one wanted to remember this pevent.
pwe didn't want to have the pburden as well as the honor of pthis memory. pthe first poem is about that phelplessness that we remember pwhether we want to or not. pand the second poem involves te predeeming descent -- decentenc pand heroism. pthe first poem about needing t premember, even if you don't wat pto. pabout the way that the world hs pchanged. pthis poem was written decades pbefore september 11. pbut the great resilient poet, pcalled souvenir of the ancient pworld.
pclaris strolled in the garden pwith the children, the sky was pgreen under the glass and the pelements were blue, and rose ad porange. pa policemen smiled, a bicyclis ppassed. pa world stepped on the area, te pworld was quiet around clara. pthe children looked at the sky pit was not forbidden, mouth, pnose and eyes were open. pthere was no danger, what clar pfeared was the flu, heat and te pinsects. pclara feared missing the 11 po'clock trolly. pwaiting for letters slow to parrive. pnot always being able to wear pnew dress. pbut she strolls into the garde,
pinto the morning. pthey had gardens and mornings n pthose days. pthat's a poem about a pcatastrophic event happening ad pno other poems. pthe second poem that i will pread, before the 40 names is nt pin english. pi will read it in my transla n ptranslation. pthe poem is called incantation. pand for me it invokes the fact pthat these people when they go pon the airplane, had no pintention of being heros. pthey wanted to go somewhere on pordinary, reasonable human pbusiness. pand then their imagination was pchallenged by disaster. pincantation. phuman reason is beautiful and
pinsensible. pno bars. pno barbed wire, no poking of pbooks or sentiment of banishmet pcan veil against it. pit establishs in language, and pso we write truth and justice pwith capital letters. plie and oppression with small. pit puts what should be above pthings as they are. pit is an enemy of despair. pand a friend of hope. pit does not know jew from gree. por slave from master. pgiving us the estate of the pworld to manage. pit saved or steered transparen pphrases from the discord of ptortured words. pit says that everything is new punder the sun. popens the congealed fists of te
ppast. pbeautiful and young are sophia pand her poetry, her ally in th psurface of the good. pas late as yesterday, nature pcelebrated their birth. pthe news was brought to the pmountains by a unicorn and an pecho. ptheir friendship will be pglorious, their time has no plimit, their enemies have pdelivered themselves to pdestruction. pi will now say the 40 names. pchristian adams. p[bell] plorraine g. bay. p[bell]
p>> vice president biden. ppresident bush, president pclinton, secretary salazar, pspeaker boehner, in all of thoe pwho chose to take time today, o pshare in the sweet celebration pof this memorial dedication. pthank you for honoring the pmemory of the passengers and pcrew for flight 93 with your ppresence. p10 years ago we first came to pthis hallowed ground. pwe were devastated. pnearly broken. pour lives changed in an instan, pand in a time where we didn't pexpect such evil in the world. ptoday we are assured that the pendurie ining legacy of our lo
poned on the action of 2001, wil pbe comforted and preserved for pfuture generations. pit's been a long road to this pvery day. pit seems to have passed in an pinstant. pso many hurdles. pso many steps to take. pprocedures to follow. ponly a project that is worthy s pthis could sustain a level of pdedication on the part of so pmuch that would see us through pthis 10th anniversary. pon this occasion it's proper ad pfitting to acknowledge the pfirst-responders that were pcalled in action of minutes of pcrash flight 93. psuch the course of our lives pwere so altered that day. pthey heard their call to duty pand the first to honor our hers
pthrough their level of action. pthis level of action and pdedication and compassion in te psummerset county community and pduring the period of recovery pand investigation. pwas not usnique but rather the pnorm. pwhether it's the volunteers in pthe park service to preserva p partita partitact -- artifacts have ppreserved this honor, that i phave come to realize that is pprevasive in pennsylvania and pthe commonwealth of harrisburg. psenator casey and entire ppennsylvania delegation.
pas well as long time champions pof the senators and the late pcongressman bertha, you have phonored to be an active partne pin this project. pwith such upheaval in our worl, pyou have continued to fight th pgood fight and on schedule and pcontinued to be appropriately pfunded. pto the families, this is sacre pground and the final resting pplace of the crew and passenges pof flight 93. pand we have worked hard to be psure that it's treated with th prespect. pand we are thankful for the pleadership in this project, an pas well as their current and pfuture stewardship of this lan. psuperintendent nuland, and
psuperintendents and ambassador pand volunteers, we trust that pyou will continue to be the pfierce advocates for our loved pones. pmoving forward that you have pdemonstrated thus far. pwhile we are dedicating a pmemorial on this day, our job s pnot done. pwe look forward to a timely pcompletion of this project, so pthat future generations come t psummerset county seeking panswers. pthey will have the vision of te pmemorial design. pthe story of the flight 93 is pone that resonates with hearts pthe rule of law, and the love f pfamily. pand the desire to control the pdestiny of one's life. pover 70,000 people across the pglobe have showned their suppot pthrough financial support. pand nearly 1.5 million
pindividuals have come to this psacred ground, to pay their prespect to our 40 heros. pthey have come asking question pand seeking perspective, as wel pas to tell their own stories ad pexperiences of september 11, p2001. pall that made the pilgrimage t pthis site, and who have worked ptirelessly to create this pmemorial and those who refuse o pforget the individuals and pcollective actions. phonor the crew and passengers f pflight 93. pwe must choose to be inspired y pthe story of flight 93. pand seize to hold fast of the phard-fought lessons learned on pthis sack -- sacred ground. pas we remember their actions, pthey remain alive in our heart
[applause] >> thank you, ed thank you sarah mclaughlin. that was beautiful. for joining us today and for the perfect piece. this memorial would not have been possible without a strong and unwavering support of individuals, governments, groups, and foundations from across the country that have made personal and financial commitments to see it through. we welcome representatives of several of those groups. the first is chris sullivan, chairman of the flight 93 capital campaign and vice- chairman of the national park
foundation. [applause] >> thank you, john barrett and thank you for all you have done for flight 93 national memorial. your leadership is remarkable. thank you very much, john. as a fund raising partner of the national park service, the nation parks foundation is a privilege to work with a dedicated group of partners. the corporations, businesses, foundations, and other ornizations, the law form -- law firm of porter right that did pro bono work and the land, is committed to protecting is hobbled ground. yet none of this -- nody has given more than the relatives and family members of the 40 men and women of flight 93. they feel the weight of the loss, and we admire you for your
courage, your determination, your commitment, and your persistence in seeing this national memorial becomes a reality. and we are very excited that today the first that is being completed. this is an important endeavor to create a permanent place of recognition of the heroes, your loved ones, so each generation knows that the incredible heroism, sacrifice, and horror that took place here 10 years ago. i would lik to especially thank ou honorary cohairman. general, a franks and gov. tom ridge, for first asking me to participate, but more for your numerous trips and meetings with donors and your ongoing and positive enthusiasm an inspiration to see this effort through. i want you two to stand up so everybody can say thank you. [applause]
some 75,000 individuals and organizations have made commitments to this national memorial. these donations, both large and small, inspire us to continue to move forward and ordered to fulfill the promise we made it 10 yrs ago to remember these brave souls on board flight 93. your names will forever be recognized in our honor roll as well as in our hearts through your extraordinary generosity. thanks in your part for making and dedicating this national memorial today. over 1.5 million visitors from around the world visited the memorial, but today marks the first time we walk across the plaza and stand before this wall and, -- come face-to-face with the quiet meadow surrounded by thousands of oths who share the memory of 9/11.
visiting here serves of the memories and emotions that are still raw. we reflect, and we do, reflect on the incredible courage and conviction of the heroes of flight 93 as well as the heartbreak and the sorrow of their loved ones. we are thankful these ordinary citizens stood up and stop another deadly and destructive attack on our nation. we would like to thank five organizations for underwriting today's even alcoa foundation, bank of america, erie insurance, hi mark, and verizon. thank you. [applause] today's dedication marks an important milestone in the history and progress of the flight 93 national memorial, but it is not the final step in the journey of healing and remembrance.
what we see today is only part of the memorial. behind you will be a visitors center filled with learning resources and public programs. 40 more " -- memorial grows encircling the vast field of honor and a tower of voices who stones will echo across this land. america has a long tradition of honoring its heroes in national parks. from the calm waters of pearl harbor to the majestic mountains of mount rushmore to the enduring legacy of martin luther king, jr., we are pleased that these 40 men and women, the heroes of flight 93, are so honored. we are confident we can realize the full vision of a national memorial. we ask for your continued support and ask you to encourage others to learn more about our efforts and go to honorflight93.org if you get them to participate. this has been a remarkable journey and, again, we still have work to do but thank you,
families, you are an inspiration to all of us. we will get this done. with that, we would like to present the secretary of interior ken salazar, who has been absolutely fantastic in thesefforts. mr. secretary? [applause] >> thank you very much. good afternoon to all of you and to vice-president biden, dr. biden, president clinton, to president bush, to mrs. bush, speaker boehner, and senators casey and tommey and all the members of the delegations and elected officials and especially to the families today who worked so hard to dig as possible. we join together as friends and family is -- families, to build and support enduring monument to love, courage, and sacrifice. on one morning, a turn of
history and a rush of heroes forever changed this land and this nation and this world. the battle that began at 6 miles overhead ended with a roar of engines and this area behind us, the stony creek river. nce that day, millions of americans have come to honor their heroes of flight 93. they have brought to this hallowed ground their pictures, their letters, a their prayers. and the people of this land, themselves survivors and witnesses and first responders welcome those who came. they helped us mourn, they helped us reflect, and they helped us build a memorial for all of america and for all the world for all time to seabright in this place. to the citizens of somerset county and for those who lead that effort, including gov. ridge and gov. grendell and
general franks and so many others, we thank you for making this day possible to the landowners of this place in somerset county who gave of their property to this nation so that we might honor those who gave their lives here, we thank you. and to the architect, paul murdock, who kept true to the landscape and to this event, your design has moved our hearts from the beginning. if to the families of flight 93, home i have come to know well over the years, and to the flight 93 advisory commission, the flight 93 memorial task force, the national park foundation, and the relentless and undying efforts of neil mulholland as president, for all the elected officials, thank you to your leadership. to the tens of thousands of citizens who donated to this cause, more than 75,000 so far, you honor us all. and to the families themselves
who have sufred the unspeakable tragedy, but to redecate themselves so deeply to protecting this final resting place, their partnership in this process, in this place, will ensure that the legacy of your loved ones is never forgotten. i am honored and i am humbled to work with all of you to make this day happen. so we will never forget those heroes who gave their lives on this hallowed ground. today, this special place, these 2,200 acres, answer the care and trust of the departments of interior and the national parks service has the 389th unit of the national park service. it joins the hallowed grounds of gettysburg and yorktown, selma and pearl harbor, as a place where patriots gave their lives for this nation. here, like so many lands and
sites we protect, we are reminded of that with -- which nds us as one people. we are reminded that we all share in our nation's triumphs as well as itsrials. we shared dreams of peace and prosperity and we are reminded that we stand up for one another, fight for each other, and defend the rights and dignity and doweled to all humankind. terrorism of the pasngers and cr of flight 93 will endure forever -- the heroism of the passengers and crew of flit 93 will and/or forever. the field of honor, the groves of trees, the wind chimes that will o day be heard throughout this landscape. on behalf of the men and women of the national park service and the department of interior, we
pledge, on behalf of president obama, on behalf of this nation's citizens, we pledged to guard thihallowed ground so that all who visit may learn what happened here. we will tell the story of flight 93 and its heroic 40 paengers. we will ensure that of the 40 patriots who gave their lives will never be forgotten. and we will see to it that the american values so evident that day, determination, resilience, service, continue to inspire us, guide us, and give us hope for the future. now, it is my honor to read a letter from president carter, who was not able to come, but asked that i read this leer t all of you who are assembled here. he says -- "i join with all of you in the dedication of the
flight 93 memorial and the desire to honor and remember the men and women who died here 10 years ago tomorrow. at a time of great sadness, we nevertheless were inspired by the courage and sacrifice manifested by the passengers and crew of united flight 93. our nation was stricken by an unprecedented attack that brought death and injury to thousands of people and suffering to millions in the united states and around the world. recognize the personal losses of the families and friends of those who perished in new york and washington as well as pennsylvania. they receive my deepest consult -- condolences. all of us americans suffered and found it difficult to understand such evil acts. the proper response and includes an enhanced defense against terrorism and a renewed dedication to the values that makes the united states a great nation, a comtment to truth,
justice, peace, freedom, humilitya human-rights, and generosity. the creation of this national memorial park will help us remember what we have lost and what we must do. i expected to be an inspiration and comfort to all of us. rosalind i -- are prayers' for consolation and hope. sincerely, jimmy carter. " it is my honor to present to all of you here in somerset county and pennsylvania the 43rd president of the united states, george w. bush. [applause]
[applause] >> thank you very much. mr.ecretary, thank you very much. mr. vice-president, dr. biden, president clinton, mr. speaker, members of congress, my friends tommy frank and tom ridge, thank you for helping to raise the money for this memorial. members of the national parks service and the national park foundation and all of you who supported this memorial, but most importantly, the families of the flight 93. ura and i are honored to join you in dedicating this memorial to the heroes of flight 93. when the sun rose and the pennsylvaniaky 10 years ago tomorr, it was a peaceful
september morning. by the time it said, nearly 3000 people were gone. the most lives lost on american soil in a single day since the battle of antietam. with the distance of a decade, 9/11 can feel like part of a different era, bufor the families of the men and women stolen, some of whom joined us today, that they will never feel like history. the memory of that morning is fresh, and so is the pain. america shares yourrief, we pray for your comfort, and we honor your loved ones. september 11, 2001, innocent men and women went to work at the world trade center. the reporting for duty at the pentagon. they boarded american flights to 11 and 77, united flights 93 and
175. they did nothing to provoke or deserve the deliberate act of murder that al qaeda carried out. one of the lessons of 9/11 is that evil is real and so is courage. when the airplanes struck the world trade center, firefighters and police officers charged up the stairs into the flames. as the towers and neared collapse, they continued the rescue efforts. all tamale more than 400 police officers and firefighters gave thr lives. among them was the chief of the new york city fire department. as a colleague put it -- he would never ask anyone to do something he didn't do himself. the pentagon service members and
civilians told friends and strangers from burning rubble. one special forces soldier recalls reaching through a cloud of smoke in search of the wounded. as he entered one room, he prayed to find someone alive. he discovered a severely burned woman and carried her to safety. they later met in of the hospital, where she explained that she had been praying for rescue. she called him her garden -- guardian angel. and then there was the extraordinary story we commemorate here. aboard united airlines flight 93 were college students from california, an ironworker from new jersey, veterans of the korean war and world war ii, citizens of germany and japan, the pilot who had rearranged his schedule so that he could take his wife on a vacation to celebrate their anniversary.
when the passengers and crew realized the airplane had been hijacked, they reported the news calmly. when they learned that the terrorists had crashed other airplanes into targets on the ground, they accepted greater responsibilities. inhe back of the cabin, the passengers gathered to devise a strategy. at the moment, america's democracy was under attack. our citizens defied their captors by holding a vote. the choice they many passengers called their loved ones to say goodbye. another said it is up to us, i think we can do it. one of the most stirring accounts, a father of two with a pregntife at home in new
jersey. prayer.ed the lord's he helped lead the charge to the front of the plane. the men and women who stormed the cockpit lived out the words, a greater love hath no man than this. they launched the first counter- offensive on the war on terror. we will never know how many innocent people might have been lost. we do know this. americans are alive today because the passengers and crew of flight 93 chose to act. our nation will be forever grateful. the 40 souls who perished on the plane left a great deal behind. they let spouses and children
and grandchildren, who missed them dearly. they left successful businesses and promising careers and a lifetime of dreams that they will never have a chance to fulfill. they left something else. a legacy of bravery and selflessness that will always inspire america. for generations, people will study the story of flight 93. they will learn that individual choices make a difference, that love and sacrifice and triumph over evil and hate. what happened up of this pennsylvania field ranks among one of the most courageous acts in american history. the memorial we dedicate today will ensure that our nation always remembers those lost here on 9/11. we have a duty beyond memory. we had a duty beyond on iran. weave a duty to live our lives
in a way -- we have a duty beyond honoring. to build a living memorial to their courage and sacrifice. we have a duty to find common purpose as a nation. in the days after 9/11, our response came like a single hand over a single heart. members of congress gathered on th steps of the capital and "god blessang america." in the past decade, our country has been tested. there have been debates along with the way. the essence of democracy, but americans have never been defined by our disagreements. whatever challenges we face today and the future, we must
never lose faith in our ability to meet them together. we mustever allow our differences to harden to divisions. we have a duty to remain engaged in the world. 9/11 proved that the conditions in the country on the other side of the world can have an impact on our streets. it may be tempting to think it does not matter what happens to a village in afghanistan, or a child in africa, but the temptation of isolation is doubly wrong. -- deadly wrong. a world of dignity and liberty and hope will be better for all. the surest way to move towards that vision is for the united states of america to lead the cause of freedom. finally, we each have a duty to serve because larger than ourselves. the passengers aboard flight 93
sets an example that inspires us all. many followed their path to service by donating blood or mentoring a child or volunteering in desperate corners of the earth. some have devoted their careers to analyzing intelligence or protecting our borders and securing our skies. others have made the noble choice to defend our nation in battle. for 10 years, our troops have given their lives to bourbon and our enemies from attacking america again. they have kept us safe, they have made us proud, and they had upheld the spirit of service shown by the passengers on flight 93. many years ago, in 1853, another president came to dedicate a memorial site in the state. he told this audience that in the larger sense, we cnot hallowed this ground.
the world will long remember what we say here, but we can never forget what they did here. so it is with flight 93. for as long as this memorial stands, we will remember what the men and women aboard the plane and did. we pay tribute to the courage they showed and a sacrifice they made and the lives they spare. the united states will never forget, may god bless you all. [applause] [applause]
>> before president bush came up to speak, i asked him if he was having a hard time. he said i was doing fine and to let looked at you. -- until i looked at you. last night, hillary came home after spending the day in new york. her eyes bright red -- her eyes were red. 10 years ago, she was the senator representing tho firemen. nearly 900 people who died, and
all the others. as we remember what happened in the nework, at the pentagon, and year, -- and here, all the rest of us have to honor those who were lost, to thank those who loved them for keeping their memory alive, raising their children, and finding the strength to go on with your own life. i think we should also thank president bush and those who servewith him for keeping us from being attacked again. [applause] i thank them for that.
john boehner, i think you and the members of congress that are here, and you have bee in the congress for the last 10 years. trying to respond to the findings of the 9/11 commission that improve our ability to secure our homeland. here, in this place, we honor something more. i was very moved wind president bush recounted the facts of what happened with your loved ones over this field a decade ago. there has always bn a special place in the common man marine -- memory fopeople who
certainly it laid down their lives for other people. president bush is from texas. i grew up in arkansas. that is a more important difference between us and r partisan differences. i was raised on the memory of the alamo, the defining story of texas. those people knew they were going to die. the cause of freedom allowed the whole idea of texas to survive. and those who live there now to eny the life they do.
the first such great story i had been able to find that reminds me of all of your loved ones, however, occurred almost 2500 years ago. the grt king of sparta and facing a massive persian army took 300 of its finest soldiers. there were thousands upon thousands upon thousands of peop. they all knew they were going to die. he told them that when they went. the enemy said, we are going to fill the air with so many arabs that it will be dark. -- arrows that it will be dark. the spartans said, we will fight in the shade. and they all die the casualties' they took and the time they bought saved the people they loved.
this is something different. at the alamo, they were soldiers. they knew what they had to do. your loved ones just happened to be on a plane. with almost no time to decide, they gave the entire country a gift. they save the capital from atck and they saved god knows how many lives. they saved the terrorist from claiming the symbolic victory of smashing the center of american government. government.