Jill Biden laid a wreath at the September 11 Memorial at the Pentagon on Monday to honor the 185 people who died there during the September 11 attacks.
The first lady was joined by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley. It was her first public appearance since testing positive for COVID last week. She tested negative on Thursday.
Jill Biden was one of several administration officials joining remembrance ceremonies taking place across the country to mark the 22nd anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack in American history.
She was there to represent President Joe Biden, who celebrated the anniversary thousands of miles from Ground Zero in Alaska. Vice President Kamala Harris represented the administration in New York at Ground Zero and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff was in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
“22 years ago today, the horror of 9/11 changed us all in one way or another,” she said Monday at a second event. “We must always remember those who lost their lives that day and afterwards. And we will always keep their families in our hearts. We stand with them today and every day.
Jill Biden folds her hands in prayer in front of the wreath at the 9/11 memorial at the Pentagon
Jill Biden and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley at the Pentagon
She laid the wreath at the Pentagon National September 11 Memorial, a permanent outdoor memorial dedicated to the 184 people who died in the building and aboard American Airlines Flight 77, which struck the west side of the Pentagon during the September 11 attacks. september.
She wore a black dress and was greeted by Secretary Lloyd Austin, Co-President Mark Milley and Ms. Holly Anne Milley.
Biden touched the crown and clasped his hands in prayer in front of it. Then she stood up, hand on her heart, while a lone trumpet played Taps. General Milley and Secretary Austin saluted.
She then went to greet the approximately 80 people present to attend the wreath laying. She spoke briefly to the crowd and came down the rope to shake hands.
Earlier Monday, officials unfurled the American flag on the west side of the Pentagon – the same site where one of the hijacked planes struck.
Each year, a ceremony is held at Ground Zero to honor the nearly 3,000 people killed on September 11, 2001, at the World Trade Center in New York, at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, and in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Jill Biden stands with her hand over her heart, while a lone trumpet plays Taps. General Mark Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin saluted
Jill Biden shakes hands with those present at the ceremony
Jill Biden with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin (left) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley (right)
President Joe Biden marked 9/11 in Alaska with Maj. Gen. Brian Eifler, commanding general of the 11th Airborne Division, right, and Chief Master Sgt. Amy Miller, US Air Force, at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson
Jill Biden kisses Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin
Jill Biden during a wreath laying at the Pentagon
In Shanksville, Pennsylvania First Lady Lori Shapiro, Governor Josh Shapiro, Deborah Borza (mother of Flight 93 victim Deora Frances Bodley), Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff and Park Ranger David M. Schmitt laid a wreath in Shanksville.
Second gentleman Douglas Emhoff walks along the Wall of Names with Deborah Borza, mother of crash victim Deora Frances Bodley, as she kisses the wall
Meanwhile, the president has been criticized by families of 9/11 victims for his absence from one of the major sites of the deadliest terrorist attack in American history.
Biden’s planned stop in Alaska marks the first time a president has not attended one of the birthday services at Ground Zero, the Pentagon or Shanksville, Pennsylvania — or at least not hosting one memorial service at the White House, which Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama each did during one year of his term.
Biden marked the occasion in Alaska, where he is expected to be on the ground for less than two hours. He is at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, where he stops on his way home from a trip to India and Vietnam.
Traditionally, presidents spend 9/11 at one of the three locations where planes crashed and killed 2,977 Americans or hold a ceremony at the White House.
But Biden is on a military base 4,362 miles from Ground Zero.
A total of six minutes of silence were observed Monday, commemorating the moment each of the towers was struck and collapsed, as well as the moments corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of United Flight 93.
The first occurred after the bells sounded at 8:46 a.m., which marks the start of the attacks – when the hijackers crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into floors 93 to 99 of the North Tower. The impact killed all 92 people on board.
At 9:03 a.m., a second moment of silence was observed – marking the moment the hijackers deliberately crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into floors 77 to 85 of the South Tower – leaving no doubt in minds of New Yorkers at the time that the attacks were planned and malicious in nature.
Vice President Kamala Harris places her hand over her heart during the national anthem at the September 11 Memorial in New York on Monday. She stood alongside Mayor Eric Adams (left) and New York Governor Kathy Hochul (right) during the service.
The next day, at 9:37 a.m., another group of terrorists deliberately crashed American Airlines Flight 77 into the Pentagon, just outside the nation’s capital.
A fourth moment of silence at 9:59 a.m. to mark the moment the South Tower, the second train hit, collapsed, and another four minutes later – to mark the moment the United 93 passengers heroically stormed the cockpit to try to regain control. the plane of their attackers.
In response, the hijackers crashed the plane into an empty field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, likely saving many lives, as many believed the plane’s target was either the White House or the Capitol .
The final moment of silent mourning came at 10:28 a.m. – the time the North Tower collapsed, leaving the 16-acre World Trade Center site in ruins and America’s collective conscience in tatters.
Harris was at Ground Zero in New York. She did not speak but was present when the first bell rang and listened to some of the readings of the names of the dead.