President Joe Biden commemorated the 21st anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at an event Sunday at the Pentagon, delivering moving words honoring those who perished there.
“I know that for all of you who lost someone, 21 years is as much a life as no time at all,” Biden said at the Pentagon National September 11 Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. “It’s good to remember. These memories help us heal, but they can also open up the pain and take us back to that time when the pain was so raw.”
The president referred to a message sent to the American people on September 11, 2001 by the Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdomwho died Thursday, recalling that she “emphatically reminded us, I quote, ‘Pain is the price we pay for love.'”
as he has done in several recent speeches, Biden spoke Sunday about securing American democracy. However, he toned down his rhetoric and avoided some of the more politically charged statements he has made before the midterms.
“It is not enough to defend democracy once a year or once in a while. It is something we have to do every day,” the president said. “So this is a day not just to remember, but a day of renewal and resolve for each and every American and our devotion to this country.”
Near 3,000 people were killed in the attacks of September 11, which were planned by the leader of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden. The hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
In his speech, Biden also highlighted the killing of al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in a drone strike earlier this year, saying the United States “will not rest, we will never forget, we will never give up.”
“And now Zawahiri can never again threaten the American people,” the president said.
Before the speech, Biden participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon, briefly pausing in front of a ceremonial wreath to touch it and then placing his hand over his heart. He was joined at the event by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.
This is how CNN interrupted its regular programming on 9/11 2:00The White House previously announced that those in attendance at the President’s remarks at the Pentagon National 9/11 Memorial included “family members of the fallen, first responders, representatives of first responder groups, and Department of Defense leaders.”
Biden also said Sunday morning in Delaware that he has “a plan” for the families of the 9/11 victims.
In response to questions from reporters before boarding Air Force One for Washington, when Biden was asked if he had a plan to deal with the families of 9/11 victims who want justice after the terrorist attacks , replied: “Yes, there is a plan for that”, without elaborating.
Meanwhile, the Vice President Kamala Harris reunited with family members who lost loved ones in the 9/11 attacks after arriving at the National 9/11 Memorial in New York City. Harris, who attended a memorial service at Ground Zero, also met with first responders, according to a White House official.