Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at the Pentagon this morning that “terrorists who hope to intimidate us will find no satisfaction and no success in threatening the United States.”
“Because not only do we come back, but by living in honor of those we have lost, we come back stronger than ever before,” Carter said in a morning ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial, which honors the 184 people killed when al-Qaeda hijackers slammed American Airlines Flight 77 out of Dulles into the Pentagon.
“And after 14 years, and forever more, terrorists who threaten us will learn this simple, yet unbending, truth: no matter how long it takes, no matter where they may hide, they will not escape the long arm of justice,” he continued. “The threat from terrorism may evolve but our determination to hold these killers accountable remains constant.”
“As Americans, we have the will to see that justice is done. As a military, we have the capability to see that justice is done. And because of our men and women in uniform, because we can rely on the finest fighting force the world has ever known, we know that justice will be done.”
Carter laid a wreath at the memorial. That event was for families, and a later lunchtime event in the Pentagon courtyard was for all employees.
President Obama didn’t go across the Potomac to the Pentagon today. He led a moment of silence at the White House this morning, then was to head to Fort Meade, Md., for a townhall with soldiers.
Vice President Joe Biden was in New York for the 9/11 Memorial Motorcycle Ride Kickoff, and stopped by Rescue Company 1 in Manhattan earlier. The NYFD unit responded to the North Tower on 9/11, and lost nearly half of the company.
Biden was joined at the fire station by Billy Joel and Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
“What people don’t understand is that anniversaries are bittersweet,” Biden said as he hugged a woman, according to the White House pool report. “People don’t know, these anniversaries don’t get any easier. It all comes back.”