President Donald Trump's focus in the wake of Hurricane Irma's devastation is to leave no neighborhoods behind, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said Monday.
"We have devastation starting with the territories," Zinke told Fox News' "Fox and Friends."
"The Virgin Islands got especially hit…[the power grid] is likely a rebuild," he said. "We're not sure that we can repair the power grid in the Virgin Islands."
The administration will look at the assessment of damage in the Florida Keys Monday, said Zinke. "Fortunately, it looks like Tampa and the upper part of Florida was not hit as hard as we thought. But, certainly, the president's focus is leave no neighborhood behind."
Zinke also pointed out that massive forest fires are still raging in the nation's western state, putting many communities under threat.
The Interior Secretary, speaking from Shanksville, Pa., in advance of 9/11 remembrances later Monday morning, noted that he was a Navy SEAL instructor when the attacks occurred.
"I saw when the plane hit, like many Americans, that America is going to change and we have changed," said Ryan, who is at the site of the crash of Flight 93 memorial, along with Vice President Mike Pence.
"I can tell you, they are heroes," he said of those passengers and crew who brought down the terrorist-held plane in Pennsylvania 16 years ago. "This is an example of America sticking together. You know, and likely the actions of the passengers and crew of Flight 93 prevented, you know, probably a strike on the Capitol. We had a joint session with Congress at the time."
The monument in Shanksville, said Ryan, is "magnificently designed and magnificently done," and is an "example of public private partnerships, the national system working together to commemorate American heroes."
Ryan said he and Pence were in Shanksville on Sunday for the dedication and groundbreaking for a memorial for the 40 passengers who were on the downed plane, and "reflecting on how great this country is, the sacrifices that we have made, and also talking about the change that 9/11 brought to all Americans."
Fox correspondent Brian Kilmeade asked Zinke if he was worried that 100 years from now, "someone is going to take that memorial down like they are trying remake our memorials today," making a reference to the national call to remove statutes honoring Confederate soldiers."I'm one that believes, you know that we should learn from history," Zinke said.
"Our monuments are a part of our country's history. We can learn from it. Since we don't put up statues of Jesus, everyone is going to fall morally short. I think reflecting on our history both good and bad is a powerful statement and part of our DNA. I'm an advocate, again, of learning from our monuments. Understanding the period they were made but also we live in a great country and monuments are not Republican, Democrat, independent. Monuments are a tribute to all of us."
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