Biden Won’t Observe 9/11 In NYC
President Joe Biden will observe the 22nd anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil at an Alaska military base with service members and their families, the White House announced.
The visit comes on Sept. 11 as a part of the President's trip back from a summit with world leaders in India and Vietnam over Sept. 7-10. The President is planning to visit Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Anchorage on the day of the anniversary, as part of the commemoration of the nation's embrace of those who lost their lives on 9/11.
Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will be participating in the annual observance held at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan. First lady Jill Biden will lay a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon.
The Sept. 11, 2001 attack saw terrorists hijack commercial airplanes and fly them into the Twin Towers in New York City's financial district, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Nearly three thousand people were murdered in those terrorist attacks, and President Biden was already a senator of the United States at the time.
Since then, 9/11 commemorations have been observed annually. The White House did not announce who will participate in the Pennsylvania observance. Nevertheless, President Biden is the first President in 16 years who will not be marking the anniversary at any of the three sites.
President Barack Obama participated in a moment of silence at the White House lawn in 2015, followed by a visit to Fort Meade in Maryland to honor the military's work in protecting the country. Five years prior, in 2005, then-President George W. Bush marked the anniversary on the White House lawn.
Instead, President Biden will pay his respects at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, in Anchorage, Alaska, as well as visit service members there.
The visit ties in with President Biden's pledge to restore the United States' commitment to diplomatic and global engagement, so that future generations will not suffer from devastating terrorist attacks such as the one experienced on 9/11. Furthermore, the observance in Alaska seeks to raise public awareness of the gravity and tragedy of the incident.
President Biden’s decision to recognize the nation’s remembrance of 9/11 in Alaska is indicative of the trust he is placing in the department of defense and military personnel, who work everyday to prevent a similar attack from occurring again.
The bronzed and gold American Flag which was draped to cover the remains of those who died on 9/11, is an enduring reminder of the courage and commitment of the US military, including those in service in Alaska. In this light, the visit communicates a greater urgency that terrorism can, and will, reach any part of the country. With the events of 9/11 freshly in the public's mind, President Biden's observance and speech in Alaska that day will undoubtedly be a memorable moment.