On the eve of the 15th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence spent half an hour Saturday afternoon on an unannounced visit to the memorial at the Pentagon.
Pence, the Indiana governor, and his wife, Karen, laid a bouquet of white roses at the portion of the memorial honoring Army Lt. Gen Timothy Maude.
Maude, a native Hoosier, was the highest ranking military official who died on 9/11.
The governor also visited, along with several tourists and family members who were at the memorial, a broad plaza with benches honoring each of the 184 airline passengers and Defense Department workers who died when one of the jetliners hijacked by al-Qaida terrorists slammed into the Pentagon’s west facade.
Pence, who was a House member in 2001, described in vivid detail his memories of the gash in the side of the building when he and several other members visited the smoldering site the day after the attacks.
“It hardly seems like 15 years ago,” he said as his 31-minute visit came to an end.
Pence made the stop at the Pentagon after delivering a speech at the annual Values Voter Summit in a hotel ballroom in northwest Washington, D.C.
“I’ll never forget the sights and sounds of that day. I’ll never forget seeing half of the sky filled with billowing smoke,” Pence said in his speech. “I will promise you this: The day that Donald Trump becomes president of the United States of America, we will again rebuild our military. We will restore the arsenal of democracy, and America will again stand tall on the world stage.”
President Barack Obama is scheduled to attend and deliver remarks at a ceremony Sunday at the Pentagon to commemorate the 9/11 attacks, the administration announced.
“We’re still the America of heroes who ran into harm’s way; of ordinary folks who took down the hijackers; of families who turned their pain into hope,” Obama said in his weekly address Saturday. “We are still the America that looks out for one another, bound by our shared belief that I am my brother’s keeper, I am my sister’s keeper.”