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Biden visits all three attack sites on 20th anniversary of 9/11

WorldSep 11, 2021 07:21PM ET
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6/6 © Reuters. Democratic U.S. presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden elbow bumps a firefighter as he and his wife Jill deliver donuts and beer to firefighters at Shanksville fire station number 627 after visiting the nearby Flight 93 National Memorial 2/6

By Jeff Mason and Trevor Hunnicutt

SHANKSVILLE, Pa./ ARLINGTON, Va. (Reuters) -President Joe Biden commemorated the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States on Saturday with visits to each of the sites where hijacked planes crashed in 2001, honoring the victims of the devastating assault.

In the first of his wordless tributes, Biden stood in somber silence with former Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton at the New York City site where planes brought down the World Trade Center's twin towers.

The three leaders, flanked by Jill Biden, Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, shared a moment of silence with the crowd at 8:46 a.m. EDT to mark the time that the first plane hit, heads bowed. They listened as relatives read the names of those who died.

The Bidens then flew to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, before heading back to the Washington area to visit the Pentagon memorial.

Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks in New York, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and in Pennsylvania, where passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 overcame the hijackers and the plane crashed in a field, preventing another target from being hit.

Biden did not deliver remarks at any of the sites. He released a video on Friday to express his condolences to the loved ones of the victims and highlight the national unity that resulted, at least initially, after 9/11.

"The core of who we are is not divided," Biden said Saturday during a visit to a fire station after the Shanksville ceremony.

In New York, on a clear, beautiful day similar to the weather 20 years ago, the New York Police Department pipes and drums band played "Hard Times Come Again No More," an American folk song from the 1850s. Bruce Springsteen, playing an acoustic guitar, sang "I'll See You in My Dreams."

Rudy Giuliani, mayor of New York at the time of the attacks, attended the ceremony. Former President Donald Trump, a New York native, did not.

In Shanksville, the Bidens participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial where names of the dead are etched on a white marble wall.

The passengers who stormed the cockpit had stepped up in a crisis, Biden told reporters later. "That's genuine heroism," he said. He praised a speech given in Shanksville earlier in the day by former President George W. Bush, the Republican who had been in office less than a year when the hijacked planes changed the country, and the world.

In a rare public address, Bush warned https://www.reuters.com/world/us/george-w-bush-calls-out-threat-domestic-terrorism-911-anniversary-2021-09-11 of the threat from domestic terrorism. He recalled how Americans came together after the attacks and urged a spirit of greater unity amid growing political division in the country.

Bush also urged a common front against violent extremists both domestic and foreign, saying "they are children of the same foul spirit, and it is our continuing duty to confront them."

Biden's last visit of the day was to the Pentagon, the symbol of U.S. military might that was pierced by another of the planes used as missiles that day.

The Bidens, Vice President Kamala Harris and second gentleman Doug Emhoff touched a memorial wreath at the site where a series of benches have been erected representing each of the 184 victims. They put their hands on their hearts, with Biden raising his in a salute, while "Taps" played.

UNITY UNRAVELED

The anniversary comes shortly after the end of the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan that Bush launched 20 years ago to root out the al Qaeda militant group that carried out the 9/11 attacks.

Biden's withdrawal of U.S. troops in August, months after a deadline set by his Republican predecessor Trump, and the resulting rapid fall of the country https://www.reuters.com/world/asia-pacific/taliban-interim-government-agrees-let-foreigners-leave-afghanistan-2021-09-09 to the Taliban has drawn criticism from members of both political parties.

Trump, a divisive figure who did not attend any formal Sept. 11 tribute, appeared instead at a friendly police precinct near his Manhattan home.

In stark contrast to the messages of unity, the former president criticized Biden over the Afghanistan withdrawal, repeated his false claim of 2020 election fraud and hinted he may take another run at the White House.

U.S. presidents often travel to one of the three sites on the 9/11 anniversary but it is unusual to go to all three on the same day.

In his video address, Biden noted https://www.reuters.com/world/us/biden-calls-unity-nation-marks-20th-anniversary-911-2021-09-10 the heroism that was seen in the days following the attacks 20 years ago. "We also saw something all too rare: a true sense of national unity," Biden said.

Biden, a Democrat, pledged to build up such unity after he took office in late January, but the country remains deeply split politically.

Last month, many families of 9/11 victims asked Biden to skip 20-year memorial events unless he declassified documents they contend will show Saudi Arabian leaders supported the attacks. Last week, the president ordered the Department of Justice to review documents from the FBI probe into the attacks for declassification and release.

Biden visits all three attack sites on 20th anniversary of 9/11
 

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Comments (21)
Catholic Man
CatholicMan Sep 13, 2021 12:09AM ET
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He was upset there was no ice cream at any of the stops.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Sep 12, 2021 8:11AM ET
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80 million votes for Biden.  Riiiiiiight
Aux Gold
Aux Gold Sep 11, 2021 9:39PM ET
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Theres his wife screaming “joe, over here joe . No joe not that way over here joe”
Red Riley
Red Riley Sep 11, 2021 9:24PM ET
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Biden is worst ever.
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Sep 11, 2021 9:06PM ET
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Biden thought it was a retirement home excursion.
Green Mango
Green Mango Sep 11, 2021 7:00PM ET
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......but had no idea where he was
Thomas Vulcani
Thomas Vulcani Sep 11, 2021 6:52PM ET
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A civil war is looming.
palmer gossett
palmer gossett Sep 11, 2021 6:33PM ET
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He purposefully continues to divide the nation. Why is he doing this. Why are they doing this. Civil War perhaps. Careful what you wish for..
Jurgen Daub
Jurgen Daub Sep 11, 2021 6:33PM ET
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he? who?
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Sep 11, 2021 6:04PM ET
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Jill Biden delivering donuts and beer.  Get out much Jill??
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Sep 11, 2021 6:01PM ET
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Hypocrite
Brandon Wooton
Brandon Wooton Sep 11, 2021 5:25PM ET
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this article is biased and needs to be rewritten. stop with bashing.
Steffen vdm
Steffen vdm Sep 11, 2021 4:43PM ET
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Sad to see so many hateful comments of Americans towards fellow Americans. On a day when Americans should be united. You cannot force other nations to love you, but you can love your own people, can't you?
Daniel Hodel
Daniel Hodel Sep 11, 2021 4:38PM ET
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How did the results of Trump’s inspection of the white house bunker turn out? Still waiting on a report.
Brandon Wooton
Brandon Wooton Sep 11, 2021 4:38PM ET
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odd right? a group of partisan fanatics endangers the white house and mums the word from the same political faction that exclaims an unguided tour of the capital building was the single biggest threat our nation has ever faced.
Sol Wein
Sol Wein Sep 11, 2021 4:31PM ET
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Did he catch his nap in between ?
Mike Lomash
Mike Lomash Sep 11, 2021 3:53PM ET
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Why leave the basement? No one wants him there anyway - wake up joe, all those who voted for you are dead
Daniel Hodel
Daniel Hodel Sep 11, 2021 3:53PM ET
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Remember when Trump & his worshipers went to the white house bunker? Good times! I hope he wrote a bigly, beautiful report on the status of the room. He should be happy he had a “safe space”.
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Sep 11, 2021 1:24PM ET
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Biden is using the 911 Patriot Act playbook to infringe on Americans Bill of Rights using the pandemic as excuse. In Biden’s America political censorship is rampant, medical freedoms erased, rising taxes, rising energy prices, rising cost of living.
Raymond Huggard
Raymond Huggard Sep 11, 2021 9:45AM ET
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Biden did not want bin laden killed. Why is he there? He hates the usa.
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Sep 11, 2021 9:45AM ET
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Oh another fake conservative making up lies
Vlad Lozovskiy
Vlad Lozovskiy Sep 11, 2021 9:45AM ET
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Benjamin McIntire  get some dislikes dude.
Rick Baier
Rick Baier Sep 11, 2021 9:34AM ET
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Mom survived the 20th floor north tower. It was 4 hours before we knew she was alive. She lost 9 co workers ( Empire blue cross blue shield). If you have unfinished business with someone or a family member be the bigger person. That day 20 years ago robbed many people of a second chance.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Sep 11, 2021 9:26AM ET
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Hypocrite
tom chung
tom chung Sep 11, 2021 9:26AM ET
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Fake president, the destroyer of USA.
Matthew PM
Matthew PM Sep 11, 2021 3:55AM ET
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p.s. I don't think the president wanted to stay in one place too long?
Matthew PM
Matthew PM Sep 11, 2021 3:52AM ET
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Anyone notice the word "TRUMP" on the grass in the background?
Benjamin McIntire
Benjamin McIntire Sep 11, 2021 3:52AM ET
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Yep, his simps are obsessed still, sad
Felipe Daniel
Felipe Daniel Sep 11, 2021 3:52AM ET
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Benjamin McIntire You have no respect for Americans with different political views. You are a fascist.
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Sep 11, 2021 3:52AM ET
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Felipe Daniel  And a ***
milena villa escobar
milena villa escobar Sep 11, 2021 3:52AM ET
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Good eye.  Too funny
 
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