On September 11, 2023, President Joe Biden marked the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks not from the attack sites, but from a military base in Alaska, making him the first commander-in-chief to do so.
Meanwhile, Vice President Kamala Harris attended a ceremony at Ground Zero in Manhattan, along with other political figures such as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Biden’s remarks were directed to service members, first responders, and their families at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. He renewed the vow to “never forget” and highlighted that the Al Qaeda threat from Afghanistan and Pakistan was at a historic low according to a declassified memo from the intelligence community.
However, Biden’s decision to spend the day in Alaska instead of the attack sites drew criticism. Former Presidents George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump generally held memorial services at one of the three crash sites during their terms.
Republican 2024 presidential candidates Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy also traveled to meet with relatives of 9/11 victims in New York.
Former President Donald Trump, in a video posted to his Truth Social account, said, “We will say a prayer for each of the beautiful families left behind, whose pain is beyond comprehension,” and concluded with, “We will never, ever forget”.