Vice President Mike Pence spoke at today’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony at the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. In the speech, the vice president fought back tears as he revealed that he would have been a likely victim at the U.S. Capitol on that day had the brave souls aboard Flight 93 not stepped in.
In the speech, Pence recalled how he was at the capitol building when he learned of the 9/11 attacks, only to find out later how close he came to being a victim himself.
“As a new member of Congress, I was going through my normal workday routine at the United States Capitol when I had learned of the attacks in New York City and at the Pentagon,” he said. “I will always remember the scenes of that day, watching the Capitol complex being evacuated. It was as though the building was literally hemorrhaging with people running in every direction.”
“Shortly after I arrived, the chief of police set the phone back down and informed the leaders gathered there that there was a plane inbound for the Capitol, and he said it was 12 minutes out,” the Vice President said before a large crowd, which included many of the families of the heroes of Flight 93.
“In that moment, the room became silent, and as people began to make plans, I found myself looking out the window, where just across the street was the Capitol dome, with that majestic statue of freedom standing atop it. A dome that’s a symbol of the ideals of this nation — of the freedom and democracy for all the world.”
“So we waited. It was the longest 12 minutes of my life. But it turned to 13 minutes. Then 14. Then we were informed that the plane had gone down in a field in Pennsylvania.”
Pence then visibly fought back tears as he made eye contact with Flight 93 family members and made a personal connection. He revealed that, had Flight 93 not gone down in Pennsylvania, it would have hit the capitol before he had the chance to evacuate. “Among the many lives that were saved by their selfless courage, they might have saved my own life that day,” he said as his voice wavered.
“I will always believe that I and many others in our nation’s capitol were able to go home that day, and hug our families, because of the courage and selflessness of the heroes of Flight 93. So for me, it’s personal.”
Here is video of the speech.