- The Washington Times - Saturday, September 4, 2021

President Biden will travel to New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania on Sept. 11 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks at all three memorial sites, the White House said Saturday.

Mr. Biden will visit ground zero in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., and Shanksville, Pa., the sites where planes crashed after terrorists hijacked them, killing nearly 3,000 people.

First lady Jill Biden will travel with the president when he visits New York and the Pentagon. Vice President Harris and second gentleman Douglas Emhoff will travel to Shanksville for a separate event and then join the Bidens at the Pentagon ceremony, the White House said.

Former President Obama followed a similar schedule in 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks. Mr. Obama’s trip to New York celebrated the opening of a memorial at the site where the World Trade Center towers once stood.

While on the campaign trail last year, Mr. Biden visited ground zero and Shanksville.

Mr. Biden’s visits come less than two weeks after the U.S. fully exited Afghanistan on August 31, ending the 20-year war that started in response to the 9/11 attacks.

Family members of 9/11 victims and survivors of the attacks last month called on Mr. Biden not to attend the 20th-anniversary events unless he upheld his campaign pledge to declassify documents they say could show a link between Saudi Arabian leaders and the attacks.

On Friday, Mr. Biden signed an executive order directing the Justice Department and other government agencies to review the documents.

The order requires Attorney General Merrick Garland to release the declassified documents publicly over the next six months.

Some of the victim’s family members praised Mr. Biden’s actions, saying they would now welcome him at a memorial stadium.

“We look forward to thanking President Biden in person next week as he joins us at Ground Zero to honor those who died or were injured 20 years ago,” Brett Eagleson, whose dad was killed on 9/11 and is now an advocate for victims’ families, said in a statement after Mr. Biden announced the executive order.

• Jeff Mordock can be reached at jmordock@washingtontimes.com.

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