Vice President Mike Pence keeps a constant reminder of the everyday heroes aboard Flight 93 on his desk inside Air Force Two.
Pence spoke Wednesday at a 9/11 memorial ceremony in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and he recalled being particularly struck on an earlier visit by one of the artifacts preserved in the museum there.
The vice president began his remarks by recognizing the heroism displayed by the 40 men and women who died bringing Flight 93 down before it could reach its intended target, which authorities later learned was likely another high-profile location in the nation’s capital. (RELATED: Mike Pence Gets Standing Ovation Despite Student Walkout At Commencement Speech)
“Today, all across this country, Americans will pause to reflect, remember, and never forget the events of this day 18 years ago in New York City, at the Pentagon, and here, in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where a ‘common field one day’ became a ‘field of honor forever,'” Pence said.
“The Bible says, if you owe debts, pay debts; if honor, then honor; if respect, then respect,” he continued, adding, “And President Trump asked me to be here today to pay a debt of honor to the memory and the families of the 40 passengers and crew members of Flight 93 — men and women who rose up, who fought back, and who met unspeakable evil with selfless heroism and American strength.”
But as Pence concluded his remarks, he noted that something in the memorial museum had so struck him on a visit two years prior that he had kept a reminder of it on Air Force Two ever since.
“Among what was left of what Todd Beamer brought on board was a book entitled, ‘A Life of Integrity,’ by Howard Hendricks,” Pence explained, adding that he had felt that the book’s title was “perfectly it represented what the men and women of Flight 93 demonstrated on that day 18 years ago.”
“Shortly thereafter, I purchased a copy of the same edition of that devotional book, and it has flown with me every day since on Air Force Two as a quiet tribute not just to the man, but to all the passengers and crew of Flight 93 for all you’ve done for us,” Pence said. “For what your loved ones did for my little family and countless others in our nation’s capital that day, thank you.”