STONYCREEK, Pa. — Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday paid tribute to the lives lost aboard Flight 93 on Sept. 11, 2001, saying we “pay a debt of honor to the memory and the families of the 40 passengers and crew members” who rose up and fought back in the face of terrorists.
Pence delivered his remarks during the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks at the Flight 93 Memorial in Somerset County, where the United Airlines Boeing 757 crashed in a field.
He said the passengers and crew “met unspeakable evil with selfless heroism and American strength."
On that day, a group aboard Flight 93 — who heard stories from friends and loved ones that other planes had been involved in attacks in New Yorkand Washington — mounted a counterassault against their hijackers and prevented another attack, likely at the U.S. Capitol Building.
Wednesday’s observance included a reading of the 40 names at 10:03 a.m., the moment the plane crashed.
"We’re with you,” Pence told family members gathered at the national memorial. "The Bible tells us that the Lord is close to the brokenhearted. And that’s our prayer for you — this day and every day.”
Joining the vice president on Wednesday were Guinean President Alpha Condé, Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt, State Sen. Pat Stefano (R., Fayette), and German diplomat Niels von Redecker.
Gordon Felt, whose brother was on Flight 93, addressed the crowd by saying the 40 passengers and crew members displayed three characteristics that should be emulated today: strength through diversity, a commitment to democratic principles, and a willingness to make tough decisions.
Pence said the nation can honor Flight 93’s passengers and crew by "resolving here and now that we will do as they did, each of us, in all of our varied roles" to "prevent such evil from ever reaching our shores again."
Bernhardt, whose department oversees the national memorial, said it is keeping the memories of the heroes alive for those born after the attacks and generations to come.
“President Trump knows firsthand the devastation the attacks brought to his city and this nation, and he and the vice president are committed to keeping the American people safe from forces of evil throughout the world,” Bernhardt said.