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  • Writer's pictureCharlie Lopez

President Biden Departs from 22-Year Tradition, Doesn't Spend 9/11 at White House or Attack Site

President Joe Biden has faced criticism from some 9/11 victims' families for not spending the 22nd anniversary of the attacks at a site associated with the tragedy or at the White House, according to a report.

Families expressed their disapproval of Biden's decision to spend 9/11 in Alaska, following his trip to India and Vietnam to discuss climate change, as reported by Fox & Friends First on Monday. He is set to be at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.

During his trip to Vietnam, Biden visited a memorial for the late Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), where he kissed the memorial and explained to accompanying reporters the significance of his visit, noting McCain as a "good friend."

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Donald Arias, who lost his brother Adam during the 9/11 attacks, voiced his opinion on the matter, stating, "It's no surprise to me that he's not coming to Ground Zero or any of the 9/11 sites." He continued, "And quite frankly, I prefer he stay away anyway. We will be spared one of his stories of how he can relate, like he did with the people of Lahaina, how he can relate because of a kitchen fire. We can do without that."

Arias referenced Biden's visit to Lahaina, where he met with survivors of a kitchen fire, suggesting that Biden's attempts to relate to their experiences were not appreciated.

Terry Strada, who lost her husband Tom at the World Trade Center, criticized Biden's decision, stating that it contradicts the pledge to "never forget." She remarked, "He is now just saying that flippantly that he doesn't have to come to any of the sites and commemorate the loss with the families. That's terrible."

Matt Bocchi, the son of 9/11 victim John Bocchi, noted that Biden's choice reflects an "unfortunate reality" where "Americans have forgotten." Bocchi stated, "If our leader is so willing to not show up to the memorial service, it's showing the message that Americans have forgotten and that it's OK to forget."

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, during a press conference three days ago, responded to the criticism by emphasizing that President Biden would mark the anniversary in Alaska with service members and their families. She acknowledged the enduring pain felt by the 9/11 families and stated that the President feels it is crucial to honor the lives lost on that tragic day.

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