While President Biden marked the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in Alaska, questions arose regarding his absence from the traditional attack sites. Fox News‘ Peter Doocy shared that, in response to his query on Biden’s whereabouts in Hanoi, Vietnam, during the 9/11 commemorations, the White House drew a parallel stating presidents didn’t visit Pearl Harbor 22 years post the event.
However, this analogy seems flawed. The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library noted on its platform that President Kennedy visited the USS Arizona in 1963, exactly 22 years after the Pearl Harbor attack.
The White House’s explanation to @pdoocy for why Biden didn’t visit ground zero today was “22 years after Pearl Harbor, presidents were not still going to visit Hawaii.”— Greg Price (@greg_price11) September 11, 2023
A few months before the 22nd anniversary of Pearl Harbor in 1963, JFK literally did just that. pic.twitter.com/qfX7C8npXd
Although most US presidents since 2001 have attended 9/11 memorials at New York, the Pentagon, or Shanksville, Pennsylvania, both Presidents Bush and Obama observed one anniversary from the White House.
Today the country marks the anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1963, President Kennedy visited the USS Arizona Memorial and laid a wreath for those who perished in the surprise attack.— JFK Library (@JFKLibrary) December 7, 2020
📷: https://t.co/M3olhe5YQJ pic.twitter.com/9ciztdQfuP
Further controversy arose when Biden claimed he was at Ground Zero a day post the 9/11 attack, a claim which records dispute. C-SPAN’s coverage of Senate activities on September 12, 2001, highlighted Biden’s presence in Washington, D.C., where he even delivered a Senate speech. His own autobiography supports this, as it details his return to the Capitol and doesn’t mention a Ground Zero visit.
The New York Post report added that a Gannett News Wire article from the same date described Senator Joe Biden as spending the day “in the U.S. Senate,” further challenging the President’s claim.