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Pentagon 9/11 Memorial Ceremony; Trump Gives Speech at Pentagon; Irma Slams Florida with Rain and Wind; Addressing Irma's Damage; Orlando Hit by Irma; Irma's Toll on Clearwater, Florida. Aired 10-10:30a ET
Aired September 11, 2017 - 10:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[10:00:00] DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: In the pitch black he began calling out people in need of help. Isaac heard faint voices and he wanted to answer those faint voices.
One by one he carried people out of the burning rubble. He kept going back into the smoldering darkness, calling out to anyone who could hear. Anyone who was alive. He saved as many as 20 people who had followed his voice. He carried eight himself. For nearly 36 hours, Isaac kept on saving lives, serving our nation and protecting our safety in our hour of need.
And today Isaac continues to do exactly that. Isaac still works at the Pentagon, now as a sergeant. He's on duty right now and he's joined us here today for the ceremony. And this morning all of us and all of America thank Isaac for his service.
Where is Isaac?
Thank you. Thank you, Isaac. Thank you.
To Isaac and to every first responder and survivor of the attack, you carry on the legacy of the friends you lost, you keep alive the memory of those who perished, and you make America proud. Very, very proud.
To the family members with us today, I know that it's with a pained and heavy heart that you come back to this place. But by doing so, by choosing to persevere through the grief, the sorrow, you honor your heroes, you renew our courage and you strengthen all of us. You really do. You strengthen all of us.
Here on the west side of the Pentagon, terrorists tried to break our resolve. It's not going to happen. But where they left a mark with fire and rubble, Americans defiantly raised the stars and stripes, our beautiful flag that for more than two centuries has graced our ships, flown in our skies and led our brave heroes to victory after victory in battle. The flag that binds us all together as Americans who cherish our values and protect our way of life. The flag that reminds us today of who we are, what we stand for and why we fight.
Woven into that beautiful flag is the story of our resolve. We have overcome every challenge. Every single challenge. Every one of them. We've triumphed over every evil and remained united as one nation under God. America does not bend. We do not waiver. And we will never ever yield.
So here at this memorial, with hearts both sad and determined, we honor every hero who keeps us safe and free and we pledge to work together, to fight together and to overcome together every enemy and obstacle that's ever in our path.
Our values will endure. Our people will thrive. Our nation will prevail and the memory of our loved ones will never ever die.
Thank you. May God bless you. May God forever bless the great United States of America. Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.
POPPY HARLOW, CNN ANCHOR: The president of the United States with his remarks on this morning. Sixteen years to the day when nearly 3,000 lives were lost on 9/11. There at the Pentagon the president honoring specifically the 184 lives lost when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
[10:05:09] A beautiful moment where he pointed out a young man named Isaac who ran into danger and could have died himself saving others. A Pentagon police officer who continues to serve this nation at the Pentagon.
Let's bring in our Barbara Starr, our Pentagon correspondent.
You know, Barbara, the words of the president, when Americans are in need, Americans pull together as one country. And Isaac is just one of so many heroes that day that continue to serve this nation, Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: We see Sergeant Isaac around the Pentagon all the time. He's still on duty. He mans various security checkpoints.
Let me be the one to say it, 16 years the Pentagon Police force are a remarkable people. They move 20,000 plus people in and out of this building safely every day and we are all grateful to them.
There are names and faces. This is not just the foggy of history in these hallways. I can tell you, standing out there, as I was 16 years ago, you know, it's tough to look at it every year because that building, that side of the building, was rebuilt within one year. It was very important. A very important symbol that defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld personally oversaw. He wanted this place back in tiptop shape, back whole.
And I think it's really important every year to remember on that morning, amidst the flames, the death, the confusion, Don Rumsfeld, as secretary of defense, refused to shut this building down. He might have been advised to do so. He refused to leave. When he didn't leave, the top generals didn't leave. The building stayed open. The dead and the wounded were cared for. There was security. There was an effort to put out the fire from the plane.
But a very important moment in history because 16 years later, you can look at the Pentagon and say that the United States military, on that morning, when its headquarters was attacked, no retreat, no surrender. The U.S. military stayed in place. And I know I've said that before on previous anniversaries, but it's something I feel is very important to recall that Secretary Rumsfeld made sure this place did not shut down.
And some of the people who served here still to this day remarkable stories of those who fell and those who continued on. There was an older man here, his name was Max Beilke. He was an Army civilian. He was here that morning working. Max Beilke, as a young man, was the last combat soldier out of Vietnam. He came home. He retired. He came back as a civilian. And he was killed here that morning. A moment to pause and remember perhaps the many lives of those who served.
HARLOW: Absolutely. Barbara Starr, thank you for all of that.
Of course, you were there through all of it and bringing us back to those memories of those American heroes that the president honored as well.
Before I take you back to John covering how America is coming together right now in the wake of Irma, I want to show you some pictures out of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Because as the president was wrapping up, there was a beautiful moment of silence at 10:03 a.m. in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, to mark the lives of those 40 passenger and crew on board United Airlines Flight 93. The heroes on board believed to have brought down that plane in that field in Pennsylvania saving countless other lives. That moment, those lives remembered as well this morning.
JOHN BERMAN, CNN ANCHOR: You know, Poppy, I'm always struck by the fact that the kids who lost their parents 16 years ago today, they're now in college. They've now moved on. They're now getting married. Living legacies to those people who were lost and on this day simply we have to say we will never forget. They are always in our hearts.
Poppy, our thanks to you.
Let me reset where I am and the situation with Hurricane Irma, which is now Tropical Storm Irma. More than 5 million people without power in the state of Florida. This is an event which has had an impact over the entire state of Florida.
The street where I'm standing, Brickell (ph) Ave, yesterday was Brickell river. Now it's Brickell dirt road, covered by mud and debris as people are coming back to figure out how much damage was done. It was covered in six feet of water.
Now, there was a hurricane that really struck the west coast of Florida with enormous force. It's moved up now over to the Jacksonville area, delivering historic storm surge there. And it is not over yet.
Let's get to Chad Myers in the Weather Center right now.
The most urgent question, Chad, is, where is it, where is it going? What do people need to know?
[10:10:04] CHAD MYERS, AMS METEOROLOGIST: It is right there, southwest of Jacksonville. Where is it going? To the northwest. Where is it affecting the most right now? Anywhere from Charleston down through Jacksonville with flash flood emergencies going on for record flooding. More flooding going on now than during hurricane Matthew in Savannah or in Tybee. More flooding than 1964 all the way back to the 1860s before there were even gauges on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville. All because the wind is blowing the water here. It's the same surge you always get with a hurricane. But it's the surge on the north side. We're talking about the dirty side. The worst side of the storm. This is now the worst side of the storm.
Now, there is some surge going back into Tampa, but two to three feet. Not what could have been had the storm been slightly farther offshore. This storm is a tropical storm. It is 70 miles per hour. It is dying. It is disintegrating.
There's enough of a high pressure up here that the winds will gust to near hurricane strength. All the way through Georgia, South Carolina and even southern North Carolina later on today. At least 70-mile-per- hour gusts all through this region. That will bring power lines down, trees down and put more people without power.
Like 5 million in Florida is not enough, John, because it still keeps going. It's dying, but it still keeps going for this region right through here. Jacksonville, St. Augustine, all the way, almost, to Charleston.
BERMAN: Still going.
Chad Myers, thank you so much for that forecast. And, Chad, thank you for guiding us through yesterday. In so many ways you took us by the hand and walked us through what we were all experiencing and told us what we could expect and how to stay safe. So, really, thank you for what you've been doing.
All right, today is --
BERMAN: If I could have taken you by the hand and driven -- taken you inside, I would have.
BERMAN: Yes, you and my mom both.
Today is all about assessing the damage out here. You can see people driving by here, taking a look, trying to get a sense of if they can come back, when they can move their lives back to order.
Right now CNN doing the same thing. I want to go to Bradenton, which is south of Tampa right now. Dianne Gallagher on the move, literally, in a vehicle trying to figure out how things stand right now.
DIANNE GALLAGHER, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: That's right, John. We're in sort of what we call a roaming coverage vehicle. We've got cameras all over. And I want to actually switch to some of those cameras so you can see. We're in Bradenton. That's in Manatee County. We've been driving around here, watching people sort of come out after the storm. Really receiving far less damage than they were expecting. But we still see quite a few as you can -- downed trees. They have people with their children out here kind of directing traffic. We're going to switch over. You can see they've got the chain saws out. A one-lane road. That's about -- pardon?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: That way's blocked further up.
GALLAGHER: It's blocked? Thank you so much.
Yes, people kind of trying to figure out, you see the traffic pattern here in Bradenton right now.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Side camera.
GALLAGHER: They experienced -- the side camera here we've got these people with the chain saws attempting really here at this point. What they're dealing with besides just trees down is a lot of power outages. More than half of Manatee County lost power. They're a part of that more than 5 million in Florida without it at this point.
We're going over the river here, this bay area, which is -- it's high, but not over the bank, John. And that's what they were really worried about was getting that storm surge. The fact that Tampa Bay, the fact that Warriors (ph) Bayou didn't get the storm surge that they were expecting really spared a lot of people's property here.
Now, the wind did come through pretty fierce. And, again, it's up high, that water there, but didn't come over the roadways. I did speak with some police officers who spent the night in a school. They said that they went out after the winds went down maybe about 2:30, 3:00 this morning to start assessing some of the damage. You can see here, fences that came down.
It looks like we are going to be stopped on Riverview Boulevard here. We were behind a fire engine. But, I mean, just take a look at all the trees and branches and palm fronds, there are coconuts on the roadway here. We've been seeing a lot of here up next to the bayou. The winds coming through, knocking the trees down.
And, again, they're under a mandatory curfew here until 3:00 p.m. They had -- they had a shelter that lost power briefly here in this county. They were able to get it back up on a generator. The kids were actually in the middle of watching "A Bug's Life" at the time, trying to keep them entertained.
But we're going to throw it back to you, John, because we are not trying to get into this fire engine's way. We want to make sure that we can find a safe way out here in Manatee County as we continue to look at the damage.
BERMAN: You know, Dianne Gallagher, thanks so much. I am sure those rescue crews, those recovery crews appreciate that and appreciate all the work you're doing because so much of today is learning where things stand. Again, some curious people out here just asking the question, how bad was it and when will things get back to normal?
[10:15:02] Here in Miami, Miami is waking up on the move today. It shouldn't take too long for a lot of people to get their lives back in order. I'm not sure that will be the case in each and every place here in Florida.
I want to go over to Naples right now. Chris Cuomo is there.
And, Chris, it's hard for us to tell here, get a complete assessment of where things stand in Miami. I'm wondering if you get that sense over in Naples, as well.
CHRIS CUOMO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, I mean, obviously a much smaller place than you're dealing with, John, but there are degrees, right? Here, this is where we were getting that record gust of 140 miles an hour. But you know what it is now? Traffic. People getting back home.
This is a good sign. This is what you want to see. Roads are clear. People want to get after it. They're waving. They're enthusiastic. Now, a lot of them -- hey, how are you doing -- they don't have power and they are anxious about what they're going to find when they get home.
Now, we have heard this morning, just talking to people here, there's some bad stories when they're getting there. Thank God not ultimately tragic. We're not hearing about any loss of life. Certainly not here and not yet. But apartment structures, you know, losing parts of their structures, cars, trees, and then, of course, that storm surge did flood a lot of places. So we're going to hear more about The Keys.
We just heard from the Cuban government that they say they lost ten lives to this storm. So it's still early in terms of understanding. In fact, the storm isn't even over yet.
Let's go to Mike Galanos. He is in Orlando. That is another place that was expected to see nothing and, boy, did they get a surprise from Hurricane Irma.
Mike, what's it like now?
MIKE GALANOS, HLN ANCHOR: Hey, Chris.
Yes, we had that last-minute turn and it hit and it hit hard.
We're in a neighborhood just west of downtown Orlando. I don't know if you can see behind me. That's one of the rescue trucks that went back into this neighborhood. You can still see the flooded water. There's 550 homes back there. We're happy to say 133 people have been rescued.
Now, behind me in that neighborhood you've got two retention ponds. They're even described as lakes. And they flooded. They backed up with hour after hour of rain here. And they tried with pumps, but they couldn't get the water out fast enough. So the next thing you know, you've got homes back there with water waist deep. Some of these water -- some of these homes have water completely flooded. One guy I talked to, they were waiting it out, trying to debate, do we
get out, do we not. They waited too long. The next thing you know, it's in the House waist deep. He got out. His mom and dad and brother are waiting inside there. So there are still people in there waiting to be rescued or debating whether or not to come out. So this was just one of those places in Orlando that got hit hard and kind of a surprise when everything backed up in one of those retention ponds, Chris.
CUOMO: All right, Mike, please, keep an eye on the situation.
We're here literally like the welcoming committee waving people as they get back down the street.
You know, on a day that's all about perspective, it is amazing that we were standing basically right here, Dave and I, the photographer, we were right up on this balcony yesterday and we were -- experienced something the likes of which I have never seen before. I've stood in a lot of storms. I never have seen anything like that, fire hose of wind and water that came through here with Hurricane Irma. And yet, look, the next morning, people are going home. This is the best sight you can see.
It is only one aspect of this story, though, for two big reasons. One, we just don't know things yet. We don't know where people didn't make it, where things are impassable, where things are not livable yet. That's a big deal. This is going to be a big day of discovery.
And there's a second reason. It's not over yet.
So, we'll take a quick break. When we come back, you got Poppy and John and I are going to take you through where the storm is right now and all of the things that we're waiting to hear. There's going to be new information every minute.
[10:23:00] BERMAN: All right, we're getting some new pictures just in. This is drone footage over Pelican Island, which is just off of Miami. And you can see what Hurricane Irma did to so many of the boats that were out there in the water for this storm. The problem was is that tropical storm force winds and then hurricane-force winds here in Miami, they hit for 12 straight hours.
And no matter how well you tie your boat down, no matter how many preparations you take, sometimes it's just not enough and boats did get tossed around. We were at a marina all day yesterday and we saw a boat with eight ropes on it. Seven of the ropes came undone. And for so much of the time, it was dangling on one rope precariously all day.
So you can see just one scene of the devastation from Hurricane Irma. And that's here on the southeast coast of Florida. The devastation all the way up the west coast as well.
Let's go to Ryan Young in Clearwater, Florida.
RYAN YOUNG, CNN NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: John, look, we were in Clearwater last night getting pounded by the winds. We actually experienced wind gusts of above 80 miles per hour.
You look behind us now. You can still see police officers who are blocking off the bridge here to the beach. That's as a precaution. And we've seen many people getting turned around.
But you see these signs of just sheer power because of the wind. You see the wind just relentlessly rip things apart. As we drove through the area, we could see downed trees. We did see some downed power lines. And we've also seen police officers all over the area, as they start to kind of make sure people who don't come out, of course, we've seen a lot of people with their cameras sticking out of their cars trying to just drive around and see what's going on.
But you also see scenes like this. And I want to show you this. Look at the size of this tree right here. That is a palm tree ripped off from another location and thrown here. This weighs over 100 pounds. So you can imagine what would have happened if this would have hit somebody as they were outside. So that's good news that no one was hurt in this area.
We'll show you some video as we were driving around. We went through some neighborhoods and talked to some people. Look, one homeowner says they were so worried about what was going on that they actually took their kitchen table, took that apart and put it up against their windows to make sure they had some sort of shutters. But that didn't save his car.
[10:25:09] Listen to what he had to say about what happened last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Kind of like a thunk and crash all at once. And my wife jumped up and said, I think something just broke. Yes, well, it broke. So it's not -- I don't think it's too bad.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
YOUNG: So you can hear what he was talking about in terms of that car was just sort of mangled by the tree next door. And actually about four houses down, we saw more neighbors with their trees on top of their homes. So you understand what people are sort of assessing right now.
So, Chris, as you can see in this area, people will be having stories about what's happened for the next few days as they try to clean up. A lot of people, though, with happy spirits in terms of just being able to make it through what they heard last night in terms of the wind, rain and all that water.
CUOMO: Hey, Ryan, I'll take it from here. Thank you very much. We've just been walking around here getting a sense of how quickly
these stores can open in Naples. We had store owners say let them know we're going to be open for business, we're going to be open for business. And this is the best news that you can have. Everybody wants to get back to normal.
Let's bring in Mayor Cretekos of Clearwater, Florida.
Mr. Mayor, can you hear us?
MAYOR GEORGE CRETEKOS, CLEARWATER, FLORIDA: Good morning. Yes, sir.
CUOMO: All right, so what are you dealing with there now, sir?
CRETEKOS: I'm sorry?
CUOMO: What are you dealing with there now, sir?
CRETEKOS: Oh, well first off, Chris, let me remember all those who lost their lives on September the 11th. It's sort of ironic that we're having to deal with this now.
But we are blessed here in Pinellas County, Clearwater, St. Petersburg. The storm was coming directly to us but it shifted. Our biggest problem now is just a lack of power. About 70 percent of the county doesn't have power. We're encouraging people to please stay indoors still until we can get -- finish our assessments of the damage. But it wasn't as great as it could have been.
CUOMO: Well, look, that is the best news to get. We know that not having power, especially in Florida, is going to be a big-time inconvenience. But it could have been so much worse. And, you're right, this is a day that demands perspective. Not to say that Irma didn't take a lot of people sideways --
CRETEKOS: Absolutely. Yes, sir. Duke Energy is here. They're working with us. And hopefully within a couple of days we'll be back to normal.
CUOMO: Well, that's the best kind of news is a quick recovery. And the resilience that we'll see here in Irma, you're right, sometimes there are no coincidences in life and it being 9/11, September 11th today, we should all have perspective that just about anything can be overcome when you have people united in the same spirit of doing exactly that.
So, Mr. Mayor, the best to you up there. Let us know if we can help in any way.
Poppy, to you in New York. We want to make sure that we get all of the right timing for the remembrances on this very important anniversary.
HARLOW: Thank you so much, Chris.
And as you said and the president reiterated this morning, when Americans are in need, Americans come together as one country. We are about to hear from the vice president in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
But first, a moment of silence, 10:28 a.m., 16 years ago when the north tower fell.
(MOMENT OF SILENCE)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Andrew James Knox.
HARLOW: You see the pain in the faces of all of those this morning remembering their mothers, their fathers, their children, their brothers, their sisters who died on this day 16 years ago. That moment of silence to mark the north tower falling here in New York City. Marked by that beautiful, glorious memorial on a beautiful September morning here in New York.
In a moment, we're going to hear remarks from the vice president at Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where 40 brave Americans lost their lives on United Flight 93.
[10:30:03] We'll bring you the vice president in just a moment.