WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden marked the 21st anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, participating in a somber wreath-laying ceremony on the Pentagon held below 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 little more than a year after Biden ended the lengthy and dear struggle in Afghanistan that the U.S. and allies launched in response to the fear assaults.

Biden famous that even after the US left Afghanistan that his administration continues to pursue these accountable 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’ll always remember, we’ll by no means hand over,” Biden mentioned. “Our dedication to stopping one other assault on the US 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.

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA – SEPTEMBER 11: U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at a ceremony commemorating the twenty first anniversary of the crash of American Airways Flight 77 into the Pentagon in the course of the September eleventh terrorist assaults on the Nationwide 9/11 Pentagon Memorial on September 11, 2022 in Arlington, Virginia. The nation is marking the twenty-first anniversary of the fear assaults of September 11, 2001, when the terrorist group al-Qaeda flew hijacked airplanes into the World Commerce Middle, Shanksville, PA, and the Pentagon, killing almost 3,000 folks. (Picture by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Photographs)

Anna Moneymaker through Getty Photographs

In ending the Afghanistan struggle, the Democratic president adopted via on a marketing campaign pledge to deliver residence U.S. troops from the country’s longest conflict. However the struggle concluded chaotically in August 2021, when the U.S.-backed Afghan government 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 phone with U.S. veterans aiding ongoing efforts to resettle in the US Afghans who helped the struggle 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 had been killed and greater than 20,000 had been wounded over the course of the almost 20-year struggle, according to the Pentagon.

He additionally vowed that the nation will “by no means fail to fulfill the sacred obligation to you to correctly put together and equip people who we ship into hurt’s manner and take care of these and their households after they come residence — and to by no means, ever, ever neglect.”

Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell on Thursday criticized Biden’s dealing with of the tip of the struggle and famous that the nation has spiraled downward below renewed Taliban rule for the reason that 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 turn out to be a worldwide pariah. Its economy has shrunk by almost a 3rd. Half of its inhabitants is now struggling vital ranges of food insecurity.”

Families of the victims of the September 11 attacks circle the North Tower pool at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York City, United States on the 21th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2022.
Households of the victims of the September 11 assaults circle the North Tower pool on the 9/11 Memorial & Museum in New York Metropolis, United States on the 21th anniversary of the assaults on September 11, 2022.

(Picture by Lokman Vural Elibol/Anadolu Company through Getty Photographs)

The president additionally remembered the phrases of consolation Queen Elizabeth II, who died final week, despatched to the American folks quickly after the 2001 assaults: “Grief is the worth 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 worth 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 annually or every so often,” Biden mentioned. “It’s one thing we’ve to do each single day. So this can be a day not solely to recollect, but additionally is a day for renewal and resolve for every 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 could be a mild 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 reminiscences that stay 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.

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