WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden marked the twenty first anniversary of the Sept. 11 assaults, participating in a somber wreath-laying ceremony on the Pentagon held underneath a gentle rain and paying tribute to “extraordinary Individuals” who gave their lives on one of many nation’s darkest days.
Sunday’s ceremony occurred a bit of greater than a 12 months after Biden ended the lengthy and dear warfare in Afghanistan that the U.S. and allies launched in response to the phobia assaults.
Biden famous that even after the USA left Afghanistan that his administration continues to pursue these chargeable for the 9/11 assaults. Final 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 are going to always remember, we’ll by no means surrender,” Biden mentioned. “Our dedication to stopping one other assault on the USA 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 Protection Division management for the annual second of tribute carried out in New York Metropolis, the Pentagon and Somerset County, Pennsylvania.
In ending the Afghanistan warfare, the Democratic president adopted by means of on a marketing campaign pledge to carry house U.S. troops from the nation’s longest battle. However the warfare concluded chaotically in August 2021, when the U.S.-backed Afghan authorities 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 a press release in honor of the 13 U.S. troops killed within the bombing on the Kabul airport and spoke by cellphone with U.S. veterans helping ongoing efforts to resettle in the USA Afghans who helped the warfare effort.
Biden on Sunday mentioned an “unimaginable debt” was owed to the U.S. troops who served in Afghanistan in addition to their households. Greater than 2,200 U.S. service members have been killed and greater than 20,000 have been wounded over the course of the practically 20-year warfare, in keeping with 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 means and look after these and their households once they come house — and to by no means, ever, ever overlook.”
Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell on Thursday criticized Biden’s dealing with of the tip of the warfare and famous that the nation has spiraled downward underneath renewed Taliban rule because the U.S. withdrawal.
“Now, one 12 months on from final August’s catastrophe, the devastating scale of the fallout from President Biden’s choice has come into sharper focus,” McConnell mentioned. “Afghanistan has change into a world pariah. Its financial system has shrunk by practically a 3rd. Half of its inhabitants is now struggling essential ranges of meals 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 value we pay for love.” Biden mentioned 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 value feels so nice, Jill and I are holding all of you near our hearts.” Biden mentioned.
Biden has just 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. With out naming Trump, Biden once more on Sunday raised a name for Individuals to safeguard democracy.
“It’s not sufficient to face up for democracy every year or now and again,” Biden mentioned. “It’s one thing we’ve got to do each single day. So it is a day not solely to recollect, but additionally is a day for renewal and resolve for each 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 Nationwide Memorial Observance in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, the place she recalled the priority she had about her sister Bonny Jacobs, a United Airways flight attendant.
She mentioned 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 at least one one other,” mentioned Biden, who was joined by her sister in Shanksville for Sunday’s commemoration. “In order we stand on this sacred and scarred earth, a file of our collective grief and a monument to the recollections that reside 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 Nationwide September eleventh Memorial in New York.