President Biden to Commemorate 9/11 Anniversary in Alaska
President Joe Biden will mark the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack at an Alaska military base with service members and their families, according to the White House.
The president will observe the anniversary at the military base on the way back from his Sept. 10 trip to Hanoi, Vietnam, where he is set to meet with Vietnamese General Secretary Nguyen Phu Trong and other leaders to discuss “ways to further deepen cooperation” between the two nations.
“The leaders will explore opportunities to promote the growth of a technology-focused and innovation-driven Vietnamese economy, expand our people-to-people ties through education exchanges and workforce development programs, combat climate change, and increase peace, prosperity, and stability in the region,” the White House said of the president’s visit to Vietnam.
While President Biden commemorates the Sept. 11 attacks in Alaska, Vice President Kamala Harris and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will mark the occasion in a commemoration ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, according to the White House.
Meanwhile, First Lady Jill Biden will lay a wreath at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial to honor the lives lost on Sept. 11, officials said.
Typically on the anniversary of the terror attacks, U.S. presidents have traveled to at least one of the sites where a group of terrorists hijacked planes and crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Virginia, and an empty field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Potential Plea Deal
The attacks, the deadliest in U.S. history, were the mastermind of then-al-Qaeda terrorist group leader Osama bin Laden.
They killed 2,977 people.
Mr. Bin Laden was killed by U.S. forces during a raid on his Pakistan compound in 2011.
The anniversary comes as more than 2,000 family members of people who died during the terror attacks signed a letter to President Biden protesting potential plea agreements that are reportedly currently being weighed by the government for the five defendants in the 9/11 attacks.
The suspected terrorists, among them Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, have been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp since 2006.
All of the defendants had sought a plea bargain during the Trump administration, in return for pleading guilty and cooperating with the government’s investigations into al-Qaeda and 9/11.
However, the Trump administration swiftly ruled out any possibility of plea bargains with the terrorists.
Justice for Victims, Families
According to an Aug. 1 letter sent by the Pentagon to the families of those who died, “The Office of the Chief Prosecutor has been negotiating and is considering entering into pre-trial agreements (PTAs),” and while no plea agreement “has been finalized, and may never be finalized, it is possible that a PTA in this case would remove the possibility of the death penalty.”
Responding to the letter, families of those who lost their lives during the terror attacks last week wrote to President Biden urging his administration not to go through with the plea deal.
“As a nation, we have said that we will never forget September 11th, and we must never cease fighting on behalf of those we’ve lost,” they wrote in their letter, which was signed by Reps. Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.), Rep. Pat Ryan (D-N.Y.), and House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) among others.
“We owe it to the victims and their families to deliver justice—and that should mean the death penalty for these murderers,” they continued.
“You are our President, and we ask that you prioritize the interests of the victims of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks over those of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed or other terrorists; that you not bow to the demands of
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