WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden will commemorate the twenty-second anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history at a remembrance event Monday in Alaska, where he will honor the lives lost.
Biden will mark the somber occasion from Anchorage's Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson as he is en route to Washington D.C. following a high-stakes trip to India and Vietnam for a series of meetings aimed at countering China’s rising global influence.
The president will deliver remarks in front of 1,000 service members, first responders, and their families, The White House said in a statement.
Biden faced criticism for not participating in traditional memorial ceremonies in New York, Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon, or the White House similar to his predecessors — George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald Trump.
On September 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 people were killed after four commercial planes were hijacked by terrorists, orchestrated by Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, striking and destroying both towers. Another plane targeted the Pentagon. The last plane was intended to hit Washington, D.C. but the plan was thwarted when passengers and crew members stepped into action. The plane crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania killing all passengers onboard.
In the wake of those attacks, the United States initiated the “war on terror” to dismantle Al-Qaeda, resulting in a decades-long war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
First lady Jill Biden will lay a wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin will also be in attendance.
In New York City, Vice President Kamala Harris stood alongside politicians and mourners at ground zero in lower Manhattan. The annual ceremony focused on reading the names of the men, women, and children killed on 9/11. Harris’ husband, Doug Emhoff, participated in a memorial service in Shanksville, Pennsylvania to honor the victims.