The date marks the day Hurricane Maria swept across the USA territory as a Category 4 hurricane, killing at least 16 people and leaving much of the island of 3.4 million people without power, according to the Associated Press.
But the need is vast, said José Rodríguez Báez president of the AFL-CIO in Puerto Rico. "And we're going to make a bloody cool picture, too".
"But I don't understand what his (Trump's) point was", he added. "We will see this challenge through".
The Trump administration asked Congress Wednesday to provide Puerto Rico with $29 billion in aid, which would go towards covering disaster relief efforts and making payments on national flood insurance.
With Puerto Rico in need of aid, many USA leaders and organized groups have donated and delivered resources and supplies.
However, the response from the US government has so far been underwhelming.
Hospitals on the island are focusing on providing only the most critical care services as physicians lack basic medical supplies.
Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, chair of the Assembly Puerto Rican/Hispanic Task Force, attended the SUNY meeting and said, "The obliteration of normal life on Puerto Rico is causing many hardships, including creating barriers to the higher education dreams of its college students. Everybody watching can really be very proud of what's taken place in Puerto Rico", Trump said according to CNN. His budget director, Mick Mulvaney, and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders later walked back the president's remarks, saying the debt will have to be dealt with through the existing bankruptcy process established under a law passed previous year.
Almost 70% of cell towers are out on the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Between downed power lines, damaged roads and flooding, the island will have a long road to recovery. Instead, Puerto Rico will have to go through the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings.