The nation terrorists tried to destroy 16 years ago will never fall, nor will it ever forget those who have perished in the name of the values for which America stands, President Donald Trump said Monday during a 9/11 remembrance ceremony at the Pentagon.
“The horror and anguish of that dark day were seared into our national memory forever,” Trump said. “On that day not only did the world change but we all changed. Our eyes were opened to the depths of the evil we faced.”
“The living breathing soul of America wept with grief for every life taken on that day,” Trump said, noting that grief transformed itself into resolve. “The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit but America cannot be intimidated, and those who try will soon join the list of vanquished enemies who dare to test our mettle.”
Trump made the families of the victims the focus of much of his speech.
“Today our entire nation grieves with you and with every family of those 2,977 innocent souls who were murdered by terrorists 16 years ago,” he said.
He also praised family members of the victims who came to the ceremony.
“You keep alive the memory of those who perished and you make America proud,” he said. “By choosing to persevere through your grief … you honor our heroes. You strengthen all of us. You do.”
Trump noted that the ceremony took place “here on the west side of the Pentagon” where “terrorists tried to break our resolve. Not going to happen.”
Trump said that America has shown that when it stands united, it cannot be defeated.
“We have overcome every challenge — every single challenge, every one of them — we’ve triumphed over every evil, and remained united as one nation under God,” he said.
“America does not bend. We do not waver. And we will never yield,” he added.
Trump closed by saying “with hearts both sad and determined,” the nation “honors every hero who keeps us both safe and free.
“Our values will endure. Our people will thrive. Our nation will prevail. And the memory of our loved ones will never, ever die,” Trump said.
Prior to the Pentagon ceremony, Trump and first lady Melania Trump walked onto the South Lawn of the White House as bells tolled to mark the attacks. They bowed their heads and stood silently with their their hands on their hearts as a bugler played taps.
Meanwhile, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke attended the Flight 93 National Memorial near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
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