OXON HILL, Maryland — The world lost renowned evangelist Billy Graham on Wednesday, prompting Vice President Mike Pence to remind CPAC attendees on Thursday of Graham’s speech at the National Cathedral after the 9/11 terror attacks.

Pence called on the crowd to “reconnect … with one another … with our communities” in days ahead and in “these challenging times, to reconnect to something deeper, something that speaks to the very heart of who we are.”

The Vice President called Graham, “one of the greatest Americans of the past century,” prompting applause from the audience. Graham’s ministry was to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ, a ministry that Pence remarked, “changed millions.”

Shortly after the Islamic terror attacks on 9/11/2001 that killed thousands of Americans, Graham spoke at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC.

Pence, at the time a first-term member of Congress, recalled the event for the crowd:

I’ll never forget what he said.  On that day, Billy Graham said to the American people, “The spirit of this nation will not be defeated.”  But he admonished Americans to, in his words, “come together to confess our need for God.”

He said, “We’ve always needed God from the beginning of this nation, but today we need him especially.” And he reminded us that the Bible says, “God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear.”

The Vice President espoused his faith in the “boundless capacity of the American people,” the President and leaders they have elected, and “that other kind of faith, what Billy Graham called ‘hope for the present and hope for the future.’”

“… in the days ahead, as we work to advance our cause, restore our country, let us also remember to claim that hope,” he continued before paraphrasing 2 Chronicles 7:14 from the Bible. “if His people, who are called by His name, will humble themselves and pray, He’ll hear from heaven, and he’ll heal this land,” Pence said as the crowd began to clap, then rise to their feet as he continued, “This one nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.”

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