WASHINGTON – When Vice President Mike Pence travels around the world on Air Force Two, he carries with him a reminder of another flight that he believes saved his life, Pence revealed Wednesday.
Pence, in 2001, hadn’t finished his first year as a House member from Indiana the morning planes piloted by terrorists struck the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
He was standing with hundreds of others near the east front of the Capitol around the time a fourth plane may have struck that building.
The 9/11 Commission report is inconclusive about whether Washington-bound Flight 93 was headed to the Capitol or the White House.
What is clear is that passengers, having learned about the other attacks from airfones, charged the cockpit. Sacrificing their own lives, the 40 crew members and passengers crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
“I will always believe that I and many others in our nation’s capital were able to go home that day and hug our families because of the courage and selflessness of your families,” Pence told family members in a speech at the memorial site Wednesday.
When Pence visited Shanksville two years ago, he walked through the museum, examining the display of personal items recovered from the crash. Among them was the book “A Life of Integrity,” by Howard Hendricks that had belonged to passenger Todd Beamer.
“I was struck by the book’s title and how perfectly it represented what the men and women of Flight 93 demonstrated on that day eighteen years ago,” he said Wednesday.