At the National September 11th Memorial and Museum in New York City on Saturday, President Joe Biden was joined by former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Bill Clinton.
A number of commemorations were held across the country, and President Biden managed to make it to all three 9/11 memorial sites throughout the day. Meanwhile, former President Donald Trump met with police officers and firefighters at the New York Police Department's (NYPD) 17th precinct.
Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, on the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks but the president oddly stood back and had nothing to say. Biden did have pre-recorded remarks played on the subject on Friday evening.
“We are gathered today on hallowed ground, at this place that has been sanctified by sacrifice, to honor the heroism that the 40 passengers and crew members showed in the face of grave terrorism,” Harris said at the site where Flight 93 crashed after passengers heroically fought back against the terrorists.
“I remember when I first learned about what happened on that fateful flight. What happened on Flight 93 told us then and it still tells us so much about the courage of those on board who gave everything they possibly could; about the resolve of the first responders who risked everything; and about the resilience of the American people,” she continued.
VP Harris: "On the days that followed September 11, 2001, we were all reminded that unity is possible in America. We were reminded also that unity is imperative in America. It is essential to our shared prosperity, to our national security, and to our standing in the world." pic.twitter.com/EMKgzSzZ2m
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) September 11, 2021
Biden briefly spoke to reporters about Flight 93, calling the acts of those on board “genuine heroism.”
“These memorials are really important,” Biden said. “But they’re also incredibly difficult for the people affected by them, because it brings back the moment they got the phone call, it brings back the instant they got the news, no matter how years go by.”
Additionally, the president applauded former President George W. Bush's speech in Shanksville, which took place during a memorial service for those who died in the plane crash. The Bushes, as well as former First Lady Laura Bush, former Vice President Dick Cheney, and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, were in Pennsylvania on Saturday to support Harris. Bush talked about the feelings he had on that fatal day 20 years ago, as well as all that happened afterward.
“We saw that Americans were vulnerable, but not fragile – that they possess a core of strength that survives the worst that life can bring,” Bush said. “We learned that bravery is more common than we imagined, emerging with sudden splendor in the face of death. We vividly felt how every hour with our loved ones was a temporary and holy gift. And we found that even the longest days end.”
“There is no simple explanation for the mix of providence and human will that sets the direction of our lives. But comfort can come from a different sort of knowledge. After wandering long and lost in the dark, many have found they were actually walking, step by step, toward grace,” Bush added.