Vice President Biden and Dr. Biden marked the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks at the Pentagon this morning, where 184 lives were lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the west side of the headquarters of the nation’s Department of Defense. Vice President Biden joined Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen at the ceremony set beside the Pentagon Memorial – 184 silver benches, one for each victim, shaded by maple trees.
But before they made their way across the Potomac, the Vice President and Dr. Biden had a quick stop to make – nearby DC Fire Department Engine 20, Truck 12, where they surprised the firefighters on duty with coffee, breakfast, and words of thanks.
The Vice President later remarked on the heroism displayed by DCFD firefighters and other first responders from across the region 10 years ago today. “They sprang to action,” he said, “risking their lives so their friends, their colleagues and total strangers, people they had never met, might live.”
But speaking directly to the families in the audience, Vice President Biden noted something they knew in their hearts before that fateful day. “That your loved ones, those who you lost, who we now call heroes, were already heroes. They were already heroes to you.”