Marking 9/11, Biden Says the Fight Goes On

President pledges pursuit of terrorists continues though war in Afghanistan ended
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 11, 2022 11:55 AM CDT
'We Will Never Forget,' Biden Says, Marking 9/11 Attacks
President Biden participates in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

President Biden marked the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on Sunday, taking part in a somber wreath-laying ceremony at the Pentagon and paying tribute to "extraordinary Americans" who lost their lives on one of the nation's darkest days. Held under a steady rain, the ceremony occurred a little more than a year after Biden ended the war in Afghanistan that the US and allies launched in response to the terror attacks. Biden noted that the US nevertheless continues to pursue those responsible for the 9/11 attacks, the AP reports. Last month, he announced the US had killed an al-Qaida leader who helped plot the attacks. "We will never forget, we will never give up," Biden said. "Our commitment to preventing another attack on the United States is without end."

The president was joined by family members of the fallen, first responders who had been at the Pentagon on the day of the attack, and Defense Department leaders for the annual moment of tribute carried out in New York City, at the Pentagon, and in Somerset County, Pennsylvania. "We owe you an incredible, incredible debt," Biden said. In ending the Afghanistan war, the Democratic president followed through on a campaign pledge to bring troops home from the country's longest conflict. But the war concluded chaotically in August 2021, when the US-backed Afghan government collapsed, a grisly bombing killed 170 Afghans and 13 American troops at Kabul's airport, and thousands of desperate Afghans gathered in hopes of escape before the final US cargo planes departed.

Biden recently has dialed up warnings about what he calls the "extreme ideology" of former President Donald Trump and his "MAGA Republican" adherents. Without naming Trump, Biden again on Sunday called for Americans to safeguard democracy. "It's not enough to stand up for democracy once a year or every now and then," Biden said, calling it "a day for renewal and resolve for each and every American in our devotion to this country, to the principles it embodies, to our democracy." First lady Jill Biden spoke at the Flight 93 National Memorial Observance in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where she recalled her concern that day about her sister Bonny Jacobs, a United Airlines flight attendant who joined her at the commemoration. The first lady called the site "a monument to the memories that live on each day, this is the legacy we much carry forward: hope that defies hate." Vice President Kamala Harris attended a ceremony at the National September 11th Memorial in New York.

(More President Biden stories.)

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