“They are stories of heroism – of doctors who ran into the fire, to rescue, to treat people they had never known before, but felt their duty to save,” he said.
More than 10,000 Pentagon employees reported to the still-burning building for work the day after the attack, “refusing to be beaten down by terror or intimidated by terror,” Hagel noted.
Hagel also recalled the Phoenix Project that quickly rebuilt the destroyed portions of the Pentagon. “They are stories of recovery and rebirth – of men and women who worked day and night for almost an entire year to clear the rubble and make the Pentagon whole again,” he said.
The courtyard event followed a morning ceremony with President Obama at the Pentagon Memorial, attended by family members of victims.