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Biden Remembers 9/11 With Troops in Alaska: Is This Disrespectful?

President Biden Delivers Remarks on the Anniversary of 9/11. (Credit: The White House)

Alaska—President Joe Biden marked the 22nd anniversary of the 9/11 attacks by addressing the troops today at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, returning to Washington from his trip to India and Vietnam. Biden's remarks were preceded by a moment of silence and the playing of Taps in front of a gathered crowd of soldiers, airmen, their families, and civilian personnel. 

President Biden's reasoning for not going to the 9/11 Memorial in New York, the Memorial at the Pentagon, or the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, was what many considered odd and more thought disrespectful. As RedState's Sister Toldjah reported:

But the actions he took in recent days and statements made by members of his administration have raised some eyebrows and caused some anger on that front, especially the one given Monday by an unnamed official who, according to Fox News White House correspondent Peter Doocy, gave a rather callous response when asked why Biden wouldn't be in NYC on this somber day.

"The analogy that I was given," Doocy reported, "is that 22 years after Pearl Harbor, U.S. Presidents were not still going to visit Hawaii." 

The person sent in Biden's place was Vice President Kamala Harris. First Lady Jill Biden was at the Pentagon for their memorial remembrance, and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff was in Shanksville, Pennsylvania for theirs.

The question I asked myself after seeing and hearing about Biden's decision to mark the anniversary elsewhere than the memorials was, is it disrespectful? Is it disrespectful for the President of the United States not to go to a memorial site to celebrate the anniversary of 9/11 or any memorial event like Pear Harbor or Memorial Day? On one side, yes, it could be seen that way because, traditionally, that's where one goes to pay respects to the fallen. On the other side, however, as long as an individual, or in this case, the President, made an official appearance and remarks about the occasion, could it not be seen as good enough? 


As I have mentioned before, I have many hats. I wore the uniform of my beloved Marine Corps for five years. Because of 9/11 and the Global War on Terror that followed it, I saw combat, and I lost many of my brothers. I have never been to Arlington, where several of them are buried, and I have never been to the graves of the others buried elsewhere, either. However, you better believe it when I say that I fully recognize their service and sacrifice every year on Memorial Day. As a matter of fact, I recognize them all year because I see them several nights, they are alive in my dreams and thoughts, and when I smell diesel fuel or other things, I remember them. I honor them by staying alive and enjoying the freedoms that they paid for with their lives. Because the wars end, but the memories will always remain. 

I hate Memorial Day. I hate it because people thank me for "my service," and I am forced to smile and say thanks back to them. It crushes my soul because I am not the subject of that sacred day. It's the dead and missing that are to be celebrated. When I go out, I always ask for an extra place setting or an extra drink. They never get used, and the drink never gets consumed because it's not for me; it's for the boys who are gone but not forgotten. I also was a peace officer and served with many more brothers and sisters, some of whom I knew and some of whom I didn't. I have been to the funerals of a couple that I did who were murdered on duty. I haven't gone to their graves either, nor have I gone to the memorials built for all of them. 

I have seen death on levels that only a fraction of Americans have experienced as well. Everyone mourns and remembers differently, and that is okay. Because we are all built and wired differently. That does not take away the fact that I, amongst many others, believe that there are several different ways to memorialize and mourn a tragic event. President Biden did not skip today, he chose to visit some troops in Alaska and make his statements there. It is my belief that one needs not to physically be at a memorial site to pay homage to the victims of that day. 

I am not mad about Biden skipping the memorial sites, I'm more mad and annoyed that his speech at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson was a speech full of mumbles, non-words, personal stories, and statements that had nothing to do with 9/11. Biden has a nasty streak of visiting wounded warriors or victims of a tragedy and somehow making the statements all about himself and his family and ignoring the pain and anguish felt by those he's speaking to. I'm more upset at the fact that he cannot, for some reason, keep himself out of it. Everyone that was alive and able to remember living through that horrible day can have their own personal details of their lives in that moment, but as the leader of the free world, he can't make it about himself. 

The unfortunate reality of this situation is that at some point in the distant future, the day will just be another day of remembrance in our calendars. The best way to keep the memories alive is to stop paying attention to how others recognize 9/11 and instead concentrate on how we feel and remember that day. I hate seeing politicians making it all about themselves, to be honest. They will always find a way to make it benefit them in some way or another. I try and flush out the politics and politicians that make appearances today because they mostly always disappoint me. We should all just take a breath and think of those we lost and those that we still have, and live our lives to the best of our abilities so that we can see them all when it comes our time to go home.

I like to refer to a poem titled "Live Your Life," written by Shawnee chief and warrior Tecumseh, about living and dying. 

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart. Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people. Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide…When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.”

We should all strive to live our lives like this. A life empty of personal gripes about who goes where to say what and why. A life filled with the joy and memories of those who traveled the journey of life before us. Remember those we lost that day, yes. Remember those who lived that day as well and come together as a nation. 

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