Obama, Romney tickets break from campaigning to commemorate 9/11 anniversary
President Barack Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney both took a brief break from campaigning to commemorate the 11th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Obama spoke at a ceremony at the Pentagon and said America has come back stronger in the years following the attacks.
“Painful as this day is and always will be, it leaves us with a lesson that no single event can ever destroy who we are,” Obama said. “No act of terrorism can ever change what we stand for.”
The president directly addressed the families of the almost 3,000 people who died that day.
“Your loved ones will never be forgotten,” Obama said. “They will endure in the hearts of our nation, because through their sacrifice they helped us make the America we are today – an America that has emerged even stronger.”
Romney addressed the National Guard convention in Reno, Nev. Ahead of his speech, he released a statement commemorating the date.
“Eleven years ago, evil descended upon our country, taking thousands of lives in an unspeakable attack against innocents,” Romney said. “America will never forget those who perished. America will never stop caring for the loved ones they left behind.”
Romney praised those who have served in the military in the War on Terror.
“Today we extend our most profound gratitude to our brave troops who have gone into battle, some never to return, so that we may live in peace,” Romney said.
The Obama and Romney campaigns both pulled their largely negative advertisements off the airwaves out of respect for the victims of the attacks and their loved ones.
Vice President Joe Biden and Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan also took a break from the campaign trail.
Biden addressed those at a memorial commemorating the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed into a Pennsylvania field. He drew from the losses of his first wife and daughter in a car crash in 1972.
“I … know from my own experience that today is just as momentous a day for all of you, just as momentous day in your life, each of your families, as every Sept. 11 has been, regardless of the anniversary,” Biden said. “My hope for you all is that as every year passes, the depth of your pain recedes and you find comfort, as I have, genuine comfort.”
Ryan spent the day in his home state of Wisconsin and issued a statement commemorating the lives of those who died.
“Eleven years ago today, from Capitol Hill, I could see the smoke rising from the fires burning in the Pentagon,” Ryan said. “Like all Americans, I will never forget the moment that our homeland came under attack. For me, this is a day to remember those who perished on that day of terror, including the first responders.”
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