President Obama reportedly became impatient during the 9/11 memorial service at the Pentagon on Sunday, so he demanded they speed it up—and, shockingly, they did.
According to The Daily Caller's Peter Hasson, a Defense Department source said the president arrived to the event early, and wanted to get it started early as a result. The "moment of silence" to respect those who lost their lives in the Islamist attack 15 years earlier was "moved up a few minutes" to accommodate his request.
The moment of silence was originally slotted to take place at 9:37 a.m.—the time at which the Pentagon was attacked on September 11—but ended up taking place a few minutes early. In his speech after the moment of silence, Obama ironically discussed the need to honor the 3,000 victims of September 11:
The question before us, as always, is: How do we preserve the legacy of those we lost? How do we live up to their example? And how do we keep their spirit alive in our own hearts?
Well, we have seen the answer in a generation of Americans—our men and women in uniform, diplomats, intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals—all who have stepped forward to serve and who have risked and given their lives to help keep us safe. Thanks to their extraordinary service, we've dealt devastating blows to al Qaeda.
We've delivered justice to Osama bin Laden. We've strengthened our homeland security. We've prevented attacks. We've saved lives. We resolve to continue doing everything in our power to protect this country that we love. And today, we once again pay tribute to these patriots, both military and civilian, who serve in our name, including those far away from home in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Perhaps most of all, we stay true to the spirit of this day by defending not only our country, but also our ideals. Fifteen years into this fight, the threat has evolved. With our stronger defenses, terrorists often attempt attacks on a smaller, but still deadly, scale. Hateful ideologies urge people in their own country to commit unspeakable violence. We've mourned the loss of innocents from Boston to San Bernardino to Orlando.
Groups like al Qaeda, like ISIL, know that we will never be able—they will never be able to defeat a nation as great and as strong as America. So, instead, they've tried to terrorize in the hopes that they can stoke enough fear that we turn on each other and that we change who we are or how we live. And that's why it is so important today that we reaffirm our character as a nation—a people drawn from every corner of the world, every color, every religion, every background—bound by a creed as old as our founding, e pluribus unum. Out of many, we are one. For we know that our diversity—our patchwork heritage—is not a weakness; it is still, and always will be, one of our greatest strengths. This is the America that was attacked that September morning. This is the America that we must remain true to.
Across our country today, Americans are coming together in service and remembrance. We run our fingers over the names in memorial benches here at the Pentagon. We walk the hallowed grounds of a Pennsylvania field. We look up at a gleaming tower that pierces the New York City skyline. But in the end, the most enduring memorial to those we lost is ensuring the America that we continue to be—that we stay true to ourselves, that we stay true to what's best in us, that we do not let others divide us.
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