WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden is expected to attend the 9/11 memorial in New York City to mark the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks, four sources with knowledge of his plans told POLITICO.
The White House recently indicated to officials in New York that Biden plans to travel for the commemoration, two of the sources said. Officials are also looking at possible stops at other locations attacked that day: the Pentagon and the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa. But one administration official said it may be logistically difficult to attend all three spots in one day.
A White House spokesperson had no comment.
In 2020, during the heat of the presidential campaign, Biden and then-Vice President Mike Pence both attended the New York City ceremony at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum, which was erected in the location of the downed Twin Towers. Biden later made a stop in Shanksville where he visited with families of the downed plane and then spoke with local firefighters.
For the 10th anniversary of the attacks in 2011, then-President Barack Obama visited New York. When Biden was vice president in the Obama administration, he traveled to the memorial sites during different years. In 2012, he marked the anniversary in Shanksville with a speech.
Biden’s likely visit to lower Manhattan will be “particularly significant with our withdrawal from Afghanistan,” said a White House official, referencing the full U.S. military pullback from that lengthy war. At the ceremony, Biden is expected to strike a tone that is “in large measure a sort of arc of the last two decades,” the person said.
New York City officials, including Eric Adams, the Democratic nominee for mayor, had been urging Biden to come to the Sept. 11 anniversary events in their city. Unless Biden goes to New York City in the month-and-a-half before 9/11, it will be his first visit to the city as president, although first lady Jill Biden and Anthony Fauci visited a vaccination site in Harlem in early June.
In 2016, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York, attended the 9/11 New York City ceremony for the 15th anniversary but her visit was overshadowed by a health episode in which aides were forced to help her get into a waiting van. Video of the event played into Donald Trump’s false narrative that Clinton was not healthy enough to be president.
While Trump also attended in 2016, he never visited the 9/11 memorial site in New York City as president as part of an anniversary commemoration, though he did go to the Pentagon and Shanksville.