9/11 Remembered: President Trump, Former VP Biden Visit Flight 93 Memorial In Shanksville On 19th Anniversary

SHANKSVILLE, Pa. (AP/KDKA) — A solemn ceremony, abbreviated and closed to the public due to the pandemic, marked the 19th anniversary at the Somerset County field where the passengers of Flight 93 overtook their hijackers and heroically brought down their plane on Sept. 11, 2001.

Both President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, are marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on Friday in Shanksville.



The two will not cross paths though, as President Trump attended and spoke at the ceremony this morning and Biden will be there in the afternoon following a visit to the 9/11 memorial in New York City.


Trump delivered a patriotic message in Shanksville as he shared the story of Flight 93, which officials concluded had been headed to Washington, D.C. until passengers teamed up against the hijackers, memorably declaring “let’s roll” as they took them on mid-flight.


“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,” Trump said, telling the families of those killed that “today every heartbeat in American is wedded to yours.”


(Photo Credit: Jeff Swensen/Getty Images)


Trump also noted how the country had come together after 9/11. There was no mention of the current divisions in the country over the coronavirus crisis.


“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,” Trump declared.



The National Park Service, which co-hosts the annual Flight 93 memorial event, had originally said it was planning an abbreviated ceremony this year to minimize the spread of the coronavirus. The agency had been planning a 20-minute “Moment of Remembrance” without a keynote speaker or musical guests. The name of each passenger and crew member was to be read aloud with the ringing of the “Bells of Remembrance,” according to the agency’s website.


But after Biden and then the White House announced their plans to visit, the website was updated to reflect a new schedule that included remarks from Trump and the secretary of the interior.



Friday was Trump’s second time observing the anniversary in Shanksville, where he made remarks in 2018. Biden spoke at the memorial’s dedication in 2011, when he was vice president.


The 2,200-acre Flight 93 National Memorial marks the spot in rural Pennsylvania where the hijacked flight crashed, killing all 40 people on board. Three other planes hijacked that day were crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon. Nearly 3,000 people died in the attacks.



At the Ground Zero, Biden and current Vice President Mike Pence shared an elbow bump — the popular COVID-era handshake replacement — as did Biden and second lady Karen Pence.


While there, Biden approached 90-year-old Maria Fisher, who lost her son in the attacks. He told her he had lost his son also, a reference to his son’s Beau’s death from cancer. “It never goes away, does it?” he lamented, and then handed her a rose.