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National News

Trump, Pence, Biden, and Harris Make Appearances Honoring 9/11 on Friday

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Trump, Pence, Biden, and Harris Make Appearances Honoring 9/11 on Friday

2020-09-12 13:10:47

By Laura Tucker, Staff writer; Image: Joe Biden offering rose to grieving mother (Image source: Screenshot)

The four nominees on the two major-party presidential tickets spent Friday traversing the country to the various 9/11 memorials. The biggest differences between the two parties were the presidential candidates and their approach to the solemn day.

The candidates on the Democratic ticket were the only ones who promised to stop all campaigning for the day, pulling their TV ads.

"I'm not gonna make any news today. I'm not gonna talk about anything other than 9/11," Biden explained to the press. "We took all our advertising down. It's a solemn day, and that's how we're going to keep it, okay?"

However, Donald Trump was quick to bring it up when some of the Democratic ads still remained on.

Another difference was that as the oldest nominee, former vice president Joe Biden was the only one of the four to visit two memorials. Perhaps this will show once and for all that he does have the stamina to lead the country, even at 77.

When visiting the New York 9/11 memorial at Ground Zero, Biden spokes with the widows, widowers, and parents who had lost their children. He shared with them his loss of his wife and daughter in a car crash in 1972 and the loss of his son Beau in 2015 to cancer.

A woman who had lost her godmother and aunt in the attacks said Biden had talked to her, wanting "to let me know to keep the faith." He told her, "he knows what it means to lose someone. He wanted me to stay strong. And he's so sorry for my loss." She added that she would be voting for him in November.

He also spoke with Maria Fisher, 90. She lost her son in the 2001 attacks. Biden told her he, too, had lost a son. "It never goes away, does it?" he asked, then handed her a rose.

"It takes a lot of courage for someone that lost someone to come back today," said Biden later to The Associated Press. "I know from experience, losing my wife, my daughter, my son, you relieve it, the moment as if it's happening. It's hard. ... So I admire the families who come."

After visiting New York, Biden moved on to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, where Flight 93 crashed. After laying a wreath at the memorial, the former vice president visited the Shanksville Volunteer Fire Department. He brought them a Bundt cake and pastries and reminded them that last time he'd visited, he'd promised to bring beer. He honored his promise, bringing with him two six-packs.

Trump visited Shanksville earlier in the day and said, "America will always rise up, stand tall, and fight back." He shared the memorable story of Flight 93 in Shanksville. The flight was headed for Washington, D.C., but once hijackers tried to take over the flight, and upon learning about the attacks on the towers in New York City, a group of passengers realized their fate, announced, "Let's roll," and fought the hijackers to crash the flight to save others on the ground.

"The heroes of Flight 93 are an everlasting reminder that no matter the danger, no matter the threat, no matter the odds, America will always rise up, stand tall, and fight back," said Trump. He also expressed empathy for the families of the victims, telling them their pain "is the shared grief of our whole nation."

Trump also spoke of the unity that came together after the terrorist attacks. "It was a unity based on love for our families, care for our neighbors, loyalty to our fellow citizens, pride in our great flag, gratitude for our police and first responders, faith in God, and a refusal to bend our will to the depraved forces of violence, intimidation, oppression, and evil," he said.

While Biden and Trump were not at Shanksville at the same time, Biden and Mike Pence were at Ground Zero at the same time. The former VP tapped the current VP on the shoulder, and the two shared an elbow bump. 

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Biden's running mate, spoke at a memorial ceremony in Northern Virginia, a short distance from the Pentagon, the site of another plane crash on 9/11.

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