BOSTON: Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton will mark the 15th anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks with visits to Ground Zero in New York City.
Although Clinton, who was a US senator from New York in 2001, was not initially scheduled to visit the memorial site, her campaign notified officials at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum late on Thursday that she would attend the morning’s events.
Trump, a native New Yorker, is also expected to attend the annual commemoration.
It is not clear whether the two candidates will cross paths, but both have agreed to refrain from campaigning today, continuing the tradition of setting aside partisan politics on the somber anniversary.
President Barack Obama, who every year in office has proclaimed September 11 Patriot Day and National Day of Service and Remembrance, said the day of the attacks was “one of the darkest in our nation’s history.”
“We stand with the survivors who still bear the scars of that day,” Obama said on Friday. “We thank the first responders who risked everything to save others. And we salute a generation of Americans — our men and women in uniform, diplomats and our intelligence, homeland security and law enforcement professionals — who serve, and have given their lives, to help keep us safe.”
While the core of America’s resilience and ways of life have not changed, Obama acknowledged the global threats the country face have evolved “as we’ve seen so tragically from Boston to Chattanooga, from San Bernardino to Orlando.”
“In Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and beyond, we’ll stay relentless against terrorists like al-Qaeda and ISIL,” Obama said. “We will destroy them. And we’ll keep doing everything in our power to protect our homeland.”
Meanwhile, Obama is deciding whether to veto a bipartisan bill that would allow families of September 11 victims to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have had in the attacks.
Fifteen of the 19 hijackers were Saudi Arabians.
The White House has signaled Obama would veto the legislation over the potential for it to backfire and apprehension about undermining a long-standing yet strained relationship with a critical US ally in the Middle East. The Obama administration has warned that if US citizens can take the Saudis to court, then a foreign country could in turn sue the United States.