Pres. Trump Signs 911 Victim Compensation Fund Bill CSPAN July 29, 2019 6:55pm-7:17pm EDT
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through the year 2092. 9/11 firsted by responders, survivors, and family members of victims for this event in the white house rose garden. [applause] pres. trump: thank you very much, everybody. please sit down. a very important day. we are gathered this morning at the white house to honor our solemn duty to america's best, bravest and finest who i know so well. in a few moments, i will sign a bipartisan bill to fully reauthorize the 9/11 victims compensation fund. the 9/11 victims compensation fund is something you have all worked on very hard, and the day has come. today, we come together as one nation to support our september
11 heroes, to care for their families, and to renew our eternal vow never, ever forget. before i go further this morning, we express our deepest sadness and sorrow for the families who lost a precious loved one in the horrific shooting last night in gilroy, california. while spending time at a local festival, a wicked murderer opened fire and killed five citizens, including a young child. we pray that god will comfort them with his overflowing mercy and grace. we are praying for those who are recovering right now in the hospital, some very, very serious injuries. we thank them brave members of law enforcement. they never let us down, who swiftly killed the shooter. we reaffirm our national will to answer violence with the courage, determination and resolve of one american family. we will continue to work together as communities and as
citizens to stop evil, prevent violence, and protect the safety of all americans. we are joined for today's ceremony by our wonderful vice president, mike pence. thank you mike, very much. [applause] along with many distinguished guests. i want to begin by recognizing a leader many of you know very well. on september 11, he declared the city of new york and the united states of america as much stronger than any group of barbaric terrorists. our strength and our willingness to defend ourselves will ultimately prevail, and he was right. a great mayor of the city of new york. our greatest mayor, in my opinion -- what do i know -- rudy giuliani. stand up, rudy. [applause] pres. trump: great job, rudy. rudy has got a lot of guts.
thank's also to deputy attorney general jeffrey rosen for being here. thank you, jeff. along with senator deb fischer and representatives michael burgess, chris collins, brian fitzpatrick, peter king, john joyce, mark meadows, and dan meuser. please stand up. [applause] thank you very much. thank you, peter. in the wake of the september 11 attacks, courageous americans raced into smoke them a fire and debris in lower manhattan, the pentagon, and a field in shanksville, pennsylvania. the whole world witnessed the might and resilience of our nation in the extraordinary men and women of the new york fire and police departments, selfless pictures of unmatched character and devotion. i grew up with them, so i can tell you it is absolutely true.
it is always nice to know your subject. i know that subject. these are great people. we also commemorate the heroes of the port authority police. i thank you all for being here, tremendous people. first responders from across the country rushed to new york and worked endless days and sleepless nights. they fought to rescue every person trapped in the rubble and then searched for months to find the remains of the fallen. the love and loyalty of our first responders new no bounds. we are honored to be in the presence of 60 of these exceptional heroes. they answered terror with the emotional strength of true american warriors. would every 9/11 responder please stand up? all you first responders? [applause] pres. trump: thank you. thank you, fellas.
great-looking group of people you are. great-looking group of people. thank you very much. you inspire all of humanity. we are also glad to have with us families of our fallen heroes. our nation owes each of you a profound debt. but we can and we will keep our nation's promise to you. in a few moments, i will sign the 9/11 victims compensation fund. this law makes permanent the financial support for families who lost precious loved ones as a result of september 11 attacks. it also provides pensions for
those who are suffering from cancer and other illnesses stemming from the toxic debris they were exposed to in the aftermath of the attacks. many of those affected were firefighters, police officers and first responders. i was down there also, but i am not considering myself a first responder. but i was down there. i spent a lot of time with you. since september 11, we have lost many first responders and survivors to many 9/11 related cancer and illnesses. many more are battling cancer and other illnesses. we pledge to stand by the families of those affected today and every day. we will stand with you. i want to thank lawmakers in both parties for working with common purpose to pass this vital and critical legislation. here with us for this signing ceremony are the three families whose loved ones are memorialized in the title of this bill. new york police department detective james zadroga spent
more than 450 hours serving at ground zero. in 2006, james died from a lung disease. to his father, joseph, and his daughter tyler-anne who join us, detective zadroga's heroism will uplift our nation together. it will never be forgotten. we will always remember what he did for us. please stand up. please. [applause] pres. trump: thank you. thank you very much. also present today is the family of east meadow volunteer firefighter ray pfeifer. i know east meadow very well. great place. great people. for eight months, ray worked constantly at ground zero. in 2017 at the age of 59, he died from cancer. here with us today is ray's wife, karen, his daughter
taylor, and his son terrance, now in new york city firefighter. please stand up. [applause] pres. trump: good. good. thank you. pres. trump: i know that ray must be watching over you, looking down right now from heaven on this beautiful rose garden. very very proud of you. thank you. thank you very much. the third namesake of the bill is new york city detective luis alvarez. last month, his powerful testimony in congress touched the heart of our nation. a few days later, he passed from this life into eternity. we are privileged to have his brother philip, his wife eileen, and his sons, tyler and ben. please stand. please. thank you very much. [applause]
thank you very much. pres. trump: i want each of you to know that america is holding you in the arms of its wonderful, wonderful heart. we are all a grieving by your side. our whole nation prays and pays tribute to the incredible life and legacy of defective alvarez. how hard he worked, and how much he suffered. we really want to thank him. he was really something. people understand it very well. it's really great, thank you. we have an obligation, and it is a sacred obligation, to the families of first responders of 9/11. here with us today is chief john joyce, former fire chief of the midtown manhattan firehouse. on september 11, 15 of his men raced into the ashes of hell and give their lives. -- gave their lives.
chief joyce still mentors many of their 28 children. he spent seven months working at ground zero. in 2011, he was diagnosed with cancer. he has also endured other severe 9/11-related illnesses. the chief is a fighter. he is definitely a fighter. as he says, because of this bill, he does not have to fear for the families of his firehouse whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice. chief joyce, you have our everlasting gratitude. please, chief. thank you. [applause] pres. trump: thank you, chief. thank you for being here. and say hello to everybody.
to every 9/11 hero, you poured out your heart, your sweat, your soul and everything you had for your country. you ran toward the wreckage, into a ball of flames, like frankly nobody in this country had ever seen. you searched for survivors, you went back day after day and night after night to save lives and return the fallen to their families to rebuild and recover, and to show the entire world that nothing will ever break america's spirit. over the last two decades, you have endured hardship with amazing grace and incredible grit. through it all, you care. you work, and you love, and you will always remember all of those great families. you lift up our communities and you remind us all what it means to stand united as one nation under god.
for your entire lives, you have gone far beyond your duty to us, and today we strive to fulfill our sacred duty to you. we love you, we honor you, and we thank you. god bless you all. [applause] pres. trump: thank you. thank you. now, i am going to sign this bill into law. i don't know if the stage will hold it, but if it doesn't, we are not falling very far, but i would like to ask the families, and i would also like to ask the first responders to come up. and we will give this stage a shot. let's see how well built -- made in america -- let's see how well-built it is, ok? come on up. [chatter]
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