President Donald Trump recalled Wednesday, Sept. 11 during a speech at the Pentagon that he personally saw the second plane hit the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terror attacks that claimed more than 2,600 lives in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
The president recollected the moment of the terror attacks at the Sept. 11 Pentagon Observance Ceremony.
“I vividly remember when I first heard the news. I was sitting at home watching a major business television show early that morning. … At first, there were different reports: It was a boiler fire, but I knew that boilers aren’t at the top of a building. It was a kitchen explosion in Windows on the World. Nobody really knew what happened. There was great confusion,” Trump said.
“I was looking out of a window from a building in Midtown Manhattan, directly at the World Trade Center, when I saw a second plane at a tremendous speed go into the second tower. It was then that I realized the world was going to change,” Trump added.
“I saw the second plane hit the building and I said, ‘Wow that’s unbelievable,'” he said.
“Soon after, I went down to ground zero with men who worked for me to try to help in any little way that we could. We were not alone. So many others were scattered around trying to do the same. They were all trying to help,” Trump continued.
“But for the families who join us, this is your anniversary of personal and permanent loss. It’s the day that has replayed in your memory a thousand times over,” he said.
The president and First Lady Melania Trump stood with hands over hearts on Wednesday morning before their Pentagon visit, leading White House staff in a moment of silence on the South Lawn to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the attacks.
“You waited, you prayed, you answered that most dreaded call, and your life changed forever. To each of you: The first lady and I are united with you in grief. We come here in the knowledge that we cannot erase the pain or reverse the evil of that dark and wretched day, but we offer you all that we have: our unwavering loyalty, our undying devotion, and our eternal pledge that your loved ones will never, ever be forgotten,” Trump said in the remarks.
At the U.S. military’s landmark headquarters, the Trumps laid a wreath while a U.S. Army officer read the names of the fallen and a sailor rang a bell for each life lost.
“We do not seek conflict, but if anyone dares to strike our land, we will respond with the full measure of American power and the iron will of the American spirit. And that spirit is unbreakable,” the president said.
“We had peace talks scheduled a few days ago. I called them off when I learned that they had killed a great American soldier from Puerto Rico and 11 other innocent people. They thought they would use this attack to show strength. But actually, what they showed is unrelenting weakness. The last four days, we have hit our enemy harder than they have ever been hit before, and that will continue,” Trump added.
“And if, for any reason, they come back to our country, we will go wherever they are and use power the likes of which the United States has never used before. And I’m not even talking about nuclear power. They will have never seen anything like what will happen to them,” he continued.
“The future of our nation is secured through the vigilance of our people: The brave men and women who tore through the gates of hell to save the hurt and the wounded. … Each of your lives tells the story of courage and character, virtue and valor, resilience and resolve, loyalty and love,” the president said.