WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden marked the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, collaborating in a somber wreath-laying ceremony on the Pentagon held below a gentle rain and paying tribute to “extraordinary Americans” who gave their lives on one of many nation’s darkest days.
Sunday’s ceremony occurred a little more than a year after Biden ended the lengthy and dear conflict in Afghanistan that the U.S. and allies launched in response to the fear assaults.
Biden famous that even after the United States left Afghanistan that his administration continues to pursue these answerable for the 9/11 assaults. Last month, Biden introduced the U.S. had killed Ayman al-Zawahri, the al-Qaida chief who helped plot the Sept. 11 assaults, in a clandestine operation.
“We will always remember, we’ll by no means quit,” Biden stated. “Our dedication to stopping one other assault on the United States is with out finish.”
The president was joined by relations of the fallen, first responders who had been on the Pentagon on the day of the assault, in addition to Defense Department management for the annual second of tribute carried out in New York City, the Pentagon and Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
In ending the Afghanistan conflict, the Democratic president adopted via on a marketing campaign pledge to carry residence U.S. troops from the country’s longest conflict. But the conflict concluded chaotically in August 2021, when the U.S.-backed Afghan government collapsed, a grisly bombing killed 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops at Kabul’s airport, and 1000’s of determined Afghans gathered in hopes of escape earlier than the ultimate U.S. cargo planes departed over the Hindu Kush.
Biden marked the one-year anniversary of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan late final month in low-key style. He issued an announcement in honor of the 13 U.S. troops killed within the bombing on the Kabul airport and spoke by phone with U.S. veterans helping ongoing efforts to resettle within the United States Afghans who helped the conflict effort.
Biden on Sunday stated an “unimaginable debt” was owed to the U.S. troops who served in Afghanistan in addition to their households. More than 2,200 U.S. service members had been killed and greater than 20,000 had been wounded over the course of the practically 20-year conflict, according to the Pentagon.
He additionally vowed that the nation will “by no means fail to satisfy the sacred obligation to you to correctly put together and equip people who we ship into hurt’s manner and look after these and their households once they come residence — and to by no means, ever, ever neglect.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday criticized Biden’s dealing with of the top of the conflict and famous that the nation has spiraled downward below renewed Taliban rule for the reason that U.S. withdrawal.
“Now, one 12 months on from final August’s catastrophe, the devastating scale of the fallout from President Biden’s determination has come into sharper focus,” McConnell stated. “Afghanistan has change into a worldwide pariah. Its economy has shrunk by practically a 3rd. Half of its inhabitants is now struggling crucial ranges of food insecurity.”
The president additionally remembered the phrases of consolation Queen Elizabeth II, who died final week, despatched to the American individuals quickly after the 2001 assaults: “Grief is the worth we pay for love.” Biden stated these phrases stay as poignant as they did 21 years in the past however the weight of loss additionally stays heavy.
“On today, when the worth feels so nice, Jill and I are holding all of you near our hearts.” Biden stated.
Biden has lately dialed up warnings about what he calls the “excessive ideology” of former President Donald Trump and his “MAGA Republican” adherents as a menace to American democracy. Without naming Trump, Biden once more on Sunday raised a name for Americans to safeguard democracy.
“It’s not sufficient to face up for democracy annually or once in a while,” Biden stated. “It’s one thing we’ve to do each single day. So it is a day not solely to recollect, but additionally is a day for renewal and resolve for every American in our devotion to this nation, to the rules it embodies, to our democracy.”
First girl Jill Biden spoke to a crowd on the Flight 93 National Memorial Observance in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the place she recalled the priority she had about her sister Bonny Jacobs, a United Airlines flight attendant.
She stated the assaults confirmed that “with braveness and kindness we is usually a gentle in that darkness.”
“It confirmed us that we’re all related to 1 one other,” stated Biden, who was joined by her sister in Shanksville for Sunday’s commemoration. “So as we stand on this sacred and scarred earth, a document of our collective grief and a monument to the reminiscences that stay on every day, that is the legacy we a lot carry ahead: Hope that defies hate.”
Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband attended a commemoration ceremony on the National September eleventh Memorial in New York.