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Biden to break 9/11 tradition, not visit NYC or other attack sites

President Joe Biden at the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 29, 2022. (Yuri Gripas/Abaca Press/TNS)
August 31, 2023

The White House announced this week that President Joe Biden will break tradition by observing the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at a military base in Alaska.

“The President will travel to Alaska to participate in a memorial ceremony with members of the military and their families,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement from the White House.

The Associated Press reported that the president will not make an appearance at any of the traditional 9/11 memorial sites in New York City, Pennsylvania or Virginia.

Biden’s observance in Alaska of the worst terrorist attack to ever occur on U.S. soil will take place after the president’s visit to a summit with world leaders in India from Sept. 7-10. Prior to returning to the United States for the observance of 9/11, Biden is scheduled to make a stop in Hanoi, Vietnam.

According to the White House, Biden is scheduled to meet with General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other leaders to discuss ways of developing additional “cooperation” between the two nations.

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“The leaders will explore opportunities to promote the growth of a technology-focused and innovation-driven Vietnamese economy, expand our people-to-people ties through education exchanges and workforce development programs, combat climate change, and increase peace, prosperity, and stability in the region,” the White House stated.

The White House noted that both Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, will observe the anniversary of 9/11 at New York City’s National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The White House has also announced that first lady Jill Biden will lay a wreath at the Pentagon’s 9/11 memorial.

According to The Associated Press, President George W. Bush honored the anniversary of 9/11 on the White House lawn in 2005. Additionally, President Barack Obama observed the anniversary of 9/11 in 2015 on the White House lawn prior to traveling to Fort Meade in Maryland to highlight the work of the military.