On 9/11 anniversary, Pentagon honors the sacrifices made

Matt Saintsing
September 11, 2018 - 12:35 pm

Photo By Matt Saintsing

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Top military and administration officials gathered at the Pentagon Tuesday morning to mark the 17th anniversary of the attacks on September 11th, and to honor the families of the fallen. 

“Seventeen years ago today America fell under attack,” said Vice President Mike Pence. “Nineteen radical Islamic terrorists seized control of four commercial airlines to strike the centers of our economy, our military, and our national government.” 

“We will never forget what took place in this place on that fateful morning,” he said. 

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was also in attendance and spoke directly to the families of the fallen. 

Photo by Matt Saintsing

“To our most honored guests, the families of those we lost seventeen Septembers ago, let me say to you here in the shadow of our rebuilt Pentagon, we are all part of your larger family,” said Mattis. 

“Though evil visited us on a cloudless Tuesday morning, courage and strength answered amid the fire and smoke in New York City, over a Pennsylvania meadow, and in this very building.”  

At dawn, hours before the ceremony, an American flag was unfurled over the west side of the Pentagon—which American Airlines Flight 77 plunged into—to mark the anniversary. 

125 people were killed inside the nation’s military headquarters along with 59 passengers and crew aboard the flight, in addition to the five hijackers who took control of the commercial airplane. At 9:37 am Tuesday, the exact moment Flight 77 crashed into building 17 years before, the Vice President led a moment of silence. 

Pence, who was a new member of Congress during September 11, remembered hearing the first reports that the nation was under attack. 

“I’ll never forget that moment, standing in my office when I heard a staffer shout ‘the Pentagon’s been hit,’” he said. “When I made my way out of the building and walked onto the Capitol grounds, I’ll never forget the site of seeing columns of smoke billowing out of the Pentagon, literally darkening half of that crystal clear blue sky.” 

The Vice President said to the families who gathered “your nation understands that while we all suffered loss that day, you suffer a special burden.” 

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