President Biden will spend Sept. 11 far from the sites of terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 2,996 Americans 22 years ago, opting instead to send his vice president to the ceremony at Ground Zero on Monday.
Vice President Kamala Harris flew Air Force Two to New York City to honor the victims of the 2001 attacks at the National Sept. 11 Memorial plaza, while Biden plans to commemorate it at a military base in Anchorage, Alaska.
Biden, 80, left Vietnam Monday morning but will not make it to the sites where hijackers flew planes into New York’s World Trade Center, the Pentagon in Washington, DC, or the site where United Airlines Flight 93 crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pa.
The president will instead deliver remarks to service members, first responders and their families at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, which is typically used as a refueling stop for Air Force One on return journeys.
Biden earlier in the day visited the John Sidney McCain III Memorial in Hanoi to honor the late US senator and war veteran and exchanged a challenge coin with a US service member while he was there.
His staff also placed a 9/11 memorial installation on the North Portico of the executive mansion early Monday, but no ceremony is scheduled for the president as he returns to DC later this evening.
While they were in office, former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump either held memorial services at the sites in the Big Apple or at the executive mansion.
Harris, 58, joined a commemoration ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum located at the former site of the World Trade Center, alongside Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), New York City Mayor Eric Adams and former Big Apple Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Republican 2024 presidential candidates Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy are also expected to meet with relatives of 9/11 victims in New York.
Former Vice President Mike Pence will participate in a memorial event on the campaign trail in Ankeny, Iowa.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who is polling behind the three GOP candidates in most national polls, will deliver remarks at a barbecue hosted by former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown.
“No one who lived through the horror of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks can ever forget the agony and the anguish of that terrible day. It was a terrible day,” GOP front-runner and former President Donald Trump said in a video posted to his Truth Social account.
“We will say a prayer for each of the beautiful families left behind, whose pain is beyond comprehension,” he added, while honoring the memory of firefighters, police officers, Port Authority employees, military service members and first responders who “gave their lives in the line of duty.”
“God bless the memory of all of those who perished in the 911 attacks,” Trump, 77, concluded. “We will never, ever forget.”
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani also appeared on a podcast released Monday morning to recount his remembrances of the day and shared a statement through his spokesman.
“Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s leadership on September 11th, 2001, saved lives and comforted the entire nation,” Ted Goodman said. “He reassured an anxious country and helped us find our way through unimaginable tragedy. Mayor Giuliani is focused on remembering those we lost, and honoring the courageous heroes who sacrifice their lives so that others may live.”
Biden traveled to India last Thursday for a Group of 20 summit in New Delhi without Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping and then on to Hanoi before catching some shuteye for his trip back to the US.
“I tell you what, I don’t know about you, but I’m going to go to bed,” he joked while answering questions from reporters, several of which he evaded before being played off by the sounds of jazz music.
The post Biden spends 9/11 far from terrorist attack sites with Alaska trip as Harris visits Ground Zero instead appeared first on New York Post.