President Trump paid tribute today in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to the nearly 3,000 Americans who lost their lives in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and highlighted the “extraordinary sacrifice” of the passengers of Flight 93 who bravely stood up to the terrorists.
The President gave a heartfelt speech that set aside the presidential campaign for a few minutes during a solemn ceremony. The tribute was held at the site where Flight 93 crashed in a rural Pennsylvania field on Sept. 11, 2001.
According to Fox News, before landing in Pennsylvania, at 8:45 a.m. in a mark of respect, President Trump and the First Lady held a minute of silence on board Air Force One, the same moment the first plane hit the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.
Upon arrival at the Shanksville memorial, the names of the 40 passengers and crew of Flight 93 were read aloud, each followed by the ringing of two bells.
After this small tribute, President Trump spoke from the modest stage, “The heroes of Flight 93 are an everlasting reminder that no matter the danger, no matter the threat, no matter the odds, America will always rise up, stand tall, and fight back,” according to the White House.
The podium was placed in front of the marble monument displaying all the names of the 40 passengers and crew who died fighting hijackers for control of the plane.
The President posted on his Twitter account: “The terrorists on Flight 93 had a fourth target in mind: our nation’s capital.
The only thing that stood between the enemy and a deadly strike at the heart of American democracy was the courage and resolve of 40 men and women—the amazing passengers and crew of Flight 93.”
The terrorists on Flight 93 had a fourth target in mind: our nation's capital.
"The only thing that stood between the enemy and a deadly strike at the heart of American democracy was the courage and resolve of 40 men and women—the amazing passengers and crew of Flight 93." pic.twitter.com/ySfAsAgVmX
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) September 11, 2020
“When the terrorists rushed to destroy the seat of our democracy, the 40 from Flight 93 did the most American things: they voted and then acted,” the president continued. “Together, they charged into the cockpit, confronted pure evil, and in their last act on this earth, saved our capital.”
Later in the day, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden spoke at the same location.
In careful coordination, their schedules were arranged so that the two candidates would not cross paths.
United Airlines Flight 93 was scheduled for Sept. 11, 2001, to San Francisco from Newark, New Jersey. But four hijackers took control of the flight, and the plane was unable to land at its destination. Nor did it reach the terrorists’ planned target, believed to be the U.S. Capitol or the White House, just 18 minutes away.
All 44 people on board were killed, including the four hijackers, but no one on the ground was injured.
A group of passengers struggled with the terrorists. During the struggle, the hijackers crashed the plane into a field near an open-pit mine in Stonycreek Township, about 130 miles northwest of Washington DC.