President Donald Trump marked the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks at the Pentagon on Monday, memorializing those who lost their lives and pledging to terrorist groups targeting Americans that there is “nowhere to hide anywhere on this very large Earth.”
“We are gathered here today to remember a morning that started very much like this one,” Trump said. “Parents dropped off their children at school, travelers stood in line at airports getting ready to board flights. Here at the Pentagon and at offices all across the country, people began their early meetings. Then our whole world changed.”
Trump, flanked by Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff, Defense Secretary James Mattis and first lady Melania Trump, spent much of the address memorializing the civilians and the first responders who lost their lives on the morning of the attacks, and celebrating those who joined the military following them.
He also characterized what he called “the depths of the evil we face.”
“The terrorists who attacked us thought they could incite fear and weaken our spirit,” he said later. “But America cannot be intimidated. And those who try will soon join the long list of vanquished enemies who dared to test our mettle.”
“American forces are relentlessly pursuing and destroying the enemies all civilized people, ensuring — and these are horrible, horrible enemies, enemies like we have never seen before,” he added later. “But we’re ensuring that they never again have a safe haven to launch attacks against our country. We are making plain to these savage killers that there is no dark corner beyond our reach, no sanctuary beyond our grasp and nowhere to hide anywhere on this very large Earth.”
The President highlighted the service of Pentagon police officer Isaac Hoopii, who responded 16 years ago to the attack on that building and was in attendance on Monday.
“To Isaac and to every first responder and survivor of the attack, you carry on the legacy of the friends you lost, you keep alive the memory of those who perished and you make America proud, very, very proud,” Trump said.
“Here at this memorial, with hearts both sad and determined, we honor every hero who keeps us safe and free,” he concluded. “And we pledge to work together, to fight together and to overcome together every enemy and obstacle that’s ever in our path.”