Washington DC: July 29, 2019 at 10:09 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much. Well, thank you very much, everybody. Please, sit down. Very important day. And we’re gathered this morning at the White House to honor our solemn duty to America’s best, bravest, and finest, who I know so well. In a few moments, I will sign a bipartisan bill to fully reauthorize the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. So, the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund is something you’ve all worked on very hard, and the day has come.
Today, we come together as one nation to support our September 11th heroes, to care for their families, and to renew our eternal vow: Never, Ever Forget.
Before I go further, this morning we express our deepest sadness and sorrow for the families who lost a precious loved one in the horrific shooting last night in Gilroy, California. While families were spending time together at a local festival, a wicked murderer opened fire and killed three innocent citizens, including a young child. We grieve for their families and we ask that God will comfort them with his overflowing mercy and grace. We’re praying for those who are recovering right now in the hospital. Some very, very serious injuries.
We thank the brave members of law enforcement — they never let us down — who swiftly killed the shooter. We reaffirm our national will to answer violence with the courage, determination, and resolve of one American family. We will continue to work together as communities and as citizens to stop evil, prevent violence, and protect the safety of all Americans.
We’re joined for today’s ceremony by our wonderful Vice President, Mike Pence. Thank you, Mike, very much. Thank you. (Applause.) Along with many distinguished guests.
I want to begin by recognizing a leader many of you know very well. On September 11th, he declared, “The city of New York and the United States of America is much stronger than any group of barbaric terrorists…our strength and our willingness to defend ourselves will ultimately prevail.” And he was right. A great mayor of the city of New York — our greatest mayor, in my opinion. Now, what do I know? (Laughter.) Rudy Giuliani. Stand up, Rudy. (Applause.) Great job, Rudy. Great job. Rudy has got a lot of guts.
Thanks also to Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen for being here. Thank you, Jeff. Thank you very much. Along with Senator Deb Fischer and Representatives Michael Burgess, Chris Collins, Brian Fitzpatrick, Peter King, John Joyce, Mark Meadows, and Dan Meuser. Please stand up, fellas. Please. (Applause.) Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you, Peter.
In the wake of the September 11th attacks, courageous Americans raced into smoke, fire, and debris in lower Manhattan, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. The whole world witnessed the might and resilience of our nation in the extraordinary men and women of the New York Fire Department and the New York Police Department, selfless patriots of unmatched character and devotion. I grew up with them so I can tell you that’s absolutely true. It’s always nice to really know your subject. I know that subject. These are great people.
We also commemorate the heroes of the Port Authority Police. And I want to thank you all for being here. Tremendous people. The first responders from across the country rushed to New York and worked endless days and sleepless nights. They fought to rescue every person trapped in the rubble and then searched for months to find the remains of the fallen.
The love and loyalty of our 9/11 responders knew no bounds. Today, we are deeply honored to be in the presence of more than 60 of these exceptional heroes. They answered terror with the emotional strength of true American warriors. Would every 9/11 responder please stand up? Please, all you first responders. (Applause.) Wow. Great. Thank you. Thank you, fellas. Great-looking group of people you are. Great-looking group of people. Thank you very much. You inspire all of humanity, and you know that. READ MORE