WH Blows Off Critics After Biden Skips 9/11 Memorials: Presidents Weren’t Going To Pearl Harbor After 22 Years
TOPSHOT - US President Joe Biden arrives to hold a press conference in Hanoi on September 10, 2023, on the first day of a visit in Vietnam. Biden travels to Vietnam to deepen cooperation between the two nations, in the face of China's growing ambitions in the region. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images

The White House appeared to blow off criticisms after President Joe Biden became the first sitting U.S. President to not make an appearance at any of the official memorial sites on September 11: Ground Zero in New York City, the Pentagon Memorial in Arlington, Virginia, and Shanksville, Pennsylvania — the place where passengers brought down hijacked United Flight 93.

President Biden, who was on his return trip from Vietnam, opted instead to stop in Alaska to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the worst terrorist attacks ever executed on American soil. Vice President Kamala Harris made the trip to Ground Zero in his place.

Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy said that he asked why the president had chosen not to be present at one of the major memorials himself — and the administration had responded with an analogy.


“Our focus the last couple of days has been President Biden, here in South Asia,” Doocy explained. “And when I asked a White House official why it is that President Biden was here and missed the 9/11 commemorations at the attack sites, the analogy that I was given is that 22 years after Pearl Harbor, U.S. Presidents were not still going to visit Hawaii.”

But presidents have continued to visit Pearl Harbor on December 7, although not every year. The late President George H.W. Bush, who served in the Pacific Theater himself, was on hand for the 50th anniversary of the surprise attack in 1991.

“FFS, GHWB was at Pearl Harbor for the 50th anniversary in 1991. FDR was at Gettysburg for the 75th anniversary in 1938. These places don’t stop being important,” Judianna posted via X.

To make matters worse for the White House, several pointed out the fact that the 22nd anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack — December 7, 1963 — fell just weeks after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. JFK, a U.S. Navy veteran, had visited the memorial six months earlier in June of that year.


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