WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden marked the 21st day of the Sept. 11 attacks, taking portion successful a somber wreath-laying ceremonial astatine the Pentagon held nether a dependable rainfall and paying tribute to “extraordinary Americans” who gave their lives connected 1 of the nation’s darkest days.
Sunday’s ceremonial occurred a small much than a year aft Biden ended the agelong and costly warfare successful Afghanistan that the U.S. and allies launched successful effect to the panic attacks.
Biden noted that adjacent aft the United States near Afghanistan that his medication continues to prosecute those liable for the 9/11 attacks. Last month, Biden announced the U.S. had killed Ayman al-Zawahri, the al-Qaida person who helped crippled the Sept. 11 attacks, successful a clandestine operation.
“We volition ne'er forget, we volition ne'er springiness up,” Biden said. “Our committedness to preventing different onslaught connected the United States is without end.”
The president was joined by household members of the fallen, archetypal responders who had been astatine the Pentagon connected the time of the attack, arsenic good arsenic Defense Department enactment for the yearly infinitesimal of tribute carried retired successful New York City, the Pentagon and Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
In ending the Afghanistan war, the Democratic president followed done connected a run pledge to bring location U.S. troops from the country’s longest conflict. But the warfare concluded chaotically successful August 2021, erstwhile the U.S.-backed Afghan authorities collapsed, a grisly bombing killed 170 Afghans and 13 U.S. troops astatine Kabul’s airport, and thousands of hopeless Afghans gathered successful hopes of flight earlier the last U.S. cargo planes departed implicit the Hindu Kush.
Biden marked the one-year day of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan precocious past period successful low-key fashion. He issued a connection successful grant of the 13 U.S. troops killed successful the bombing astatine the Kabul airdrome and spoke by telephone with U.S. veterans assisting ongoing efforts to resettle successful the United States Afghans who helped the warfare effort.
Biden connected Sunday said an “incredible debt” was owed to the U.S. troops who served successful Afghanistan arsenic good arsenic their families. More than 2,200 U.S. work members were killed and much than 20,000 were wounded implicit the people of the astir 20-year war, according to the Pentagon.
He besides vowed that the federation volition “never neglect to conscionable the ineffable work to you to decently hole and equip those that we nonstop into harm’s mode and attraction for those and their families erstwhile they travel location — and to never, ever, ever forget.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell connected Thursday criticized Biden’s handling of the extremity of the warfare and noted that the state has spiraled downward nether renewed Taliban rule since the U.S. withdrawal.
“Now, 1 twelvemonth connected from past August’s disaster, the devastating standard of the fallout from President Biden’s determination has travel into sharper focus,” McConnell said. “Afghanistan has go a planetary pariah. Its economy has shrunk by astir a third. Half of its colonisation is present suffering captious levels of food insecurity.”
The president besides remembered the words of comfortableness Queen Elizabeth II, who died past week, sent to the American radical soon aft the 2001 attacks: “Grief is the terms we wage for love.” Biden said those words stay arsenic poignant arsenic they did 21 years agone but the value of nonaccomplishment besides remains heavy.
“On this day, erstwhile the terms feels truthful great, Jill and I are holding each of you adjacent to our hearts.” Biden said.
Biden has precocious dialed up warnings astir what helium calls the “extreme ideology” of erstwhile President Donald Trump and his “MAGA Republican” adherents arsenic a menace to American democracy. Without naming Trump, Biden again connected Sunday raised a telephone for Americans to safeguard democracy.
“It’s not capable to basal up for ideology erstwhile a twelvemonth oregon each present and then,” Biden said. “It’s thing we person to bash each azygous day. So this is simply a time not lone to remember, but besides is simply a time for renewal and resoluteness for each and each American successful our devotion to this country, to the principles it embodies, to our democracy.”
First woman Jill Biden spoke to a assemblage astatine the Flight 93 National Memorial Observance successful Shanksville, Pennsylvania, wherever she recalled the interest she had astir her sister Bonny Jacobs, a United Airlines formation attendant.
She said the attacks showed that “with courageousness and kindness we tin beryllium a airy successful that darkness.”
“It showed america that we are each connected to 1 another,” said Biden, who was joined by her sister successful Shanksville for Sunday’s commemoration. “So arsenic we basal connected this ineffable and scarred earth, a grounds of our corporate grief and a monument to the memories that unrecorded connected each day, this is the bequest we overmuch transportation forward: Hope that defies hate.”
Vice President Kamala Harris and her hubby attended a commemoration ceremonial astatine the National September 11th Memorial successful New York.