President Donald Trump told an audience at a 9/11 memorial observance event at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., on Monday about a heroic story of bravery that unfolded in the midst of the 2001 terror attacks.
After noting that nearly 7,000 U.S. service members have given their lives fighting terror abroad since 9/11, Trump told the audience about Pentagon Police Officer Isaac Ho’opi’i, a man whom he described as a “special person.”
“[He] was one of many heroes whose love for his fellow Americans knew no bounds,” Trump said. “He was a mile away when he got the call over his radio that a plane had crashed into the Pentagon. He sped to the scene and raced into smoke and fire.”
Speaking of Ho’opi’i’s bravery, Trump said that few people would have gone to such lengths to save lives.
“He ducked under live electrical wires and trudged through puddles of jet fuel only steps away from sparks and from vicious flame,” the president said. “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.”
And Ho’opi’i’s bravery continued, as he went back into the building over and over again, saving as many as 20 people and carrying eight of them out of the building himself.
“For nearly 36 hours, Isaac kept on saving lives, serving our nation, and protecting our safety in our hour of need,” Trump said.
Sixteen years after Ho’opi’i’s incredible bravery, the cop still works at the Pentagon and is now a sergeant; Trump took a moment to thank him for his service, as those in attendance joined Trump in applause. The president also delivered a message about others who, like Ho’opi’i, risked their lives to help their fellow countrymen on 9/11.
“To Isaac and to every first responder and survivor of the attack, you carry on the legacy of the friends you lost,” Trump said. “You keep alive the memory of those who perished. And you make America proud — very, very proud.”
Read more about Ho’opi’i’s here.