The Democratic presidential candidates marked the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by honoring the victims and highlighting how Americans come together in times of tragedy.
“In the 18 years since the horrifying attacks that stole thousands of innocent American lives at Ground Zero in New York, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, 9/11 has become a signifier of so much for our country,” former Vice President Joe Biden said in a statement. “It has become synonymous with America’s iron will to never bend, never break in the face of terror. It’s a reminder of the resilience and courage that lives in the hearts of all Americans"
Bided emphasized that the attacks have “become a reminder of who we are as a nation and what Americans are capable of when we come together, united in shared purpose. We’re a nation where heroes run into the wreckage and a nation that rebuilds, even as we remember.”
Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tweeted: “I’m thinking about the lives we lost on September 11th and the courage of the first responders, service members, and citizens who risked their lives that day and in the aftermath of that tragedy. We will always remember them.”
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont wrote on Twitter, “Today, we remember the 3,000 Americans we lost on September 11, 2001, and we honor the bravery of the emergency workers who rushed into danger in order to save lives.”
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg lamented that the bipartisan spirit in the country after 9/11 was fleeting.
“As quickly as we found that unity, it slipped from our grasp. Common ground gave way to fear and division, to knee-jerk infringements on our freedom and a self-defeating invasion of Iraq,” he said.
The 37-year old Buttigieg noted in his statement marking the anniversary that he was in college at the time of the terrorist attacks. He later served in the war in Afghanistan as a Naval Reserve intelligence officer.
Buttigieg said that “on one of its worst days, America found its best self. And on this day, it is within us to find it once more.”
Another Democratic White House hopeful, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, targeted those in Congress who slowed the renewal of the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund. The fund, created after the terrorist attacks, has long processed claims relating to injuries and deaths caused by the 9/11 attacks. The fund, which was originally slated to expire in 2020, was extended this summer after pressure on Congress.
De Blasio wrote on Twitter that New Yorkers “will never forget those who are only there for us one day a year.”
“'Leaders' in Congress spent most of 2019 blatantly forgetting the sacrifices of our first responders in order to dodge their responsibility to fund the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund,” he added.