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Trump to attend 9/11 ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial

Written by Darlene Superville/Associated Press | Sep 6, 2018 4:50 AM
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View overlooking the crash site of Flight 93 at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County. (Photo by Tim Lambert/WITF)

 

 

*This story has been updated*

(Washington) -- President Donald Trump will mark the solemn 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by participating in a ceremony at the Flight 93 National Memorial in Somerset County on Tuesday, the White House said.

First lady Melania Trump will accompany the president to the remembrance near Shanksville, Somerset County.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York's World Trade Center,  and the Pentagon and crashed Flight 93 in a reclaimed strip mine in a Pennsylvania field in what was the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

The 40 passengers and crew aboard United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in Stonycreek Township after leaving Newark, New Jersey, en route to San Francisco, are credited with thwarting a strike on the U.S. Capitol.

Trump observed the somber anniversary for the first time as president last year.

He and the first lady, surrounded by aides and administration officials, led a moment of silence on the White House lawn at the exact time that hijackers, executing a plot orchestrated by al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden, had rammed the first of two airplanes into the Twin Towers.

Trump also participated in last year's 9/11 observance at the Pentagon.

A native New Yorker, Trump has a mixed history with 9/11. He frequently uses the terrorist strikes to praise the city's response but has also made unsubstantiated claims about what he did and saw that day.

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President Donald Trump walks off Air Force One after arriving at Evansville Regional Airport, Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Evansville, Ind. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump often lauds the bravery of New York police officers, firefighters and other emergency responders who rushed to the crumbling Twin Towers as an example of the city's resilience. But he has accused fellow Republican George W. Bush, who was president on 9/11, of failing to keep Americans safe.

Trump has also made dubious claims about Sept. 11. He has said when talking about Muslims that "thousands of people were cheering" in Jersey City, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from lower Manhattan, as the towers collapsed. There is no evidence in news archives of mass celebrations there by Muslims.

Trump has also said he lost "hundreds of friends" in the attack and said he helped clear rubble afterward.

Trump has not provided names of friends who perished in the attack, but has mentioned knowing a Catholic priest who died while serving as a chaplain to the city's fire department.

An earlier story appears below. 

(Washington) -- President Donald Trump will mark the 17th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks by participating in a ceremony at the 9/11 memorial in Pennsylvania.

The White House says the president will be accompanied at Tuesday's ceremony in Shanksville by first lady Melania Trump.

Nearly 3,000 people were killed on Sept. 11, 2001, when hijackers flew commercial airplanes into New York's World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the Somerset County field.

Trump observed the solemn anniversary for the first time as president last year. He and the first lady led a moment of silence at the White House surrounded by aides and administration officials at the exact time that hijackers rammed the first of two airplanes into the Twin Towers.

Trump also participated in a 9/11 observance at the Pentagon last year.

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