‘Tragedy Struck’: GOP Presidential Candidates Commemorate 9/11 On 22nd Anniversary

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Mary Lou Masters Contributor
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Republican presidential candidates reacted Monday to the 22nd anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, expressing sorrow for the lives lost.

The 2024 GOP hopefuls commemorated the anniversary by honoring the fallen and heroism of the first responders, while hoping Americans can once again come together for a greater good.

“No one who lived through the horror of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks can ever forget the agony and the anguish of that terrible day, it was a terrible day. The images of dark plumes of smoke billowing over lower Manhattan, the Pentagon and a field of Pennsylvania, such a beautiful field, are seared into our minds forever — we will never forget,” former President Donald Trump said in a campaign video. “Today on this solemn anniversary of those monstrous attacks, we remember the 2,977 precious souls who were savagely taken from us on that morning 22 years ago, leaving a void that can never be filled.”

“We will say a prayer for each of the beautiful families they left behind, whose pain is beyond comprehension, what they’ve gone through is not even believable,” Trump added, honoring the firefighters, police officers and other first responders involved.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, the only presidential candidate who is also a military veteran, visited the World Trade Center, and released a statement honoring the lost lives. (RELATED: NYC Officials Identify Two New Victims Killed In 9/11 Terror Attacks)

“Today, Casey and I had the honor of joining with families who still bear the scars of the 9/11 terror attacks to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of that dark day. We heard their heart-wrenching stories, the cherished memories of those they lost, and their strong commitment to never forgetting what happened on this hallowed ground twenty-two years ago. September 11, 2001, changed those families and our nation forever,” said DeSantis. “And now decades later, we as a nation still owe full transparency and accountability to these grieving families. Yet too many politicians have broken past promises to them, and that is wholly unacceptable.”

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley remembered the terrorist attacks while commending those fighting in the military, including her husband, and expressed hope that the country will be able to unite as it did following 9/11.

“Twenty-two years ago, the soul of America was shaken in a way we had never felt before. Terrorists came into America and murdered thousands of our citizens on our soil. We will never forget the precious lives lost and the heroes who emerged—the firefighters who rushed into the towers, the airline passengers who gave their lives to save others, and so many who showed their courage on that terrible day,” Haley said in a statement. “Today, we have a new generation of young Americans who did not live through the horrors of 9/11. It’s our job to remind them that real evil exists in this world. The strength of America will prevail when we remember we are not immune from countries that want to destroy us.”

Former Vice President Mike Pence honored the memory of the thousands of lost lives and pledged to carry on the legacy of those who fought for the country.

“Today, Americans will again pause to remember the 2,977 lost on 9/11 and their Families,” Pence wrote in a tweet. “Their memory will live on in the hearts of the American people forever and We Will [Never Forget] or fail to Honor the Heroes forged that day and every day since defending our Nation.”

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott condemned the terrorists responsible for 9/11 over two decades later.

“22 years ago today, tragedy struck our nation and thousands of American lives were lost at the hands of evil terrorists,” Scott wrote in a tweet. “Today, I remember the heroes of 9/11 and pray for their families. God Bless the United States of America.”

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy recounted his memory of the “heroism” of the first responders, and commended how Americans were able to come together afterward.

“In the weeks that followed, we weren’t black or white; gay or straight; Democrat or Republican. We were all American. In the face of tragedy, we found unity. In the face of despair, we found renewed hope. Even as we pray that no calamity like it ever happens again, we can still long to be reunited once again as one nation under God,” Ramaswamy wrote in a tweet. “Now 22 years later, we have a growing generation of young adults who weren’t yet born on that infamous day. We have an opportunity to ask how we commemorate our national identity on this day. We should celebrate our ability to gradually heal even our deepest wounds. We will forever continue to pursue our more perfect Union.”

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum honored those who lost their lives, as well as touting America’s growing strength in the aftermath of 9/11.

“Twenty-two years ago we were tested as a nation like never before,” Burgum wrote in a tweet. “We emerged stronger and even more committed to freedom, liberty, and living up to the best of America. The patriots who tragically lost their lives, and the heroic first responders who ran into harm’s way, deserve nothing less. Today we honor and remember their sacrifice.”

Former Texas Rep. Will Hurd echoed Ramaswamy’s sentiment, and commended Americans for uniting following the terrorist attacks.

“22 years ago, 3,000 people were killed by foreign terrorists who wanted to strike an eternal blow to our way of life,” Hurd wrote in a tweet. “Instead, Americans woke up on September 12, bloodied and bruised, but united in the determination that America would live to see another day.”

Conservative radio personality Larry Elder reflected on the anniversary while taking a shot at President Joe Biden.

“It’s a sober and somber day for reflection and remembrance of the nearly 3,000 killed and injured. We will never forget,” Elder told the Daily Caller News Foundation in a statement. “Also, at a time when President Biden’s mismanagement of our borders has no doubt allowed in people on the terror watchlist, we must never forget that we remain at war with Islamofascists who want our republic destroyed.”

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson reflected on the 9/11 anniversary, and was hopeful that the same unity America had following the terrorist attacks is possible to bridge the “divide” now.

“September 11th will forever mark a sacred moment in our nation’s history. It’s a day that calls for our deepest respect and reflection. The enemies of freedom aimed to shatter our spirit by striking at the heart of our national pride. Yet, in the face of adversity, America stood resilient; we raised high our flag and united in purpose,” Hutchinson said in a statement. “Today, however, our nation faces a different challenge: a divide that threatens our shared values and vision. We must remember that the same spirit that united us post-9/11 can bridge our differences now. The brave souls we lost 22 years ago deserve a nation that stands together, not apart. On this solemn day, let us recommit to the ideals that make America exceptional, ensuring a brighter future for all.”

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie commemorated the terrorist attacks and described the anniversary as “personal” to him.

“22 years ago today was one of the darkest days in our nation’s history,” Christie wrote in a tweet. “We can honor those we lost with our love and our deeds. The day before, I was named U.S. Attorney for NJ. My wife and brother were within blocks of Ground Zero. This day is personal to me on many levels.”

The RealClearPolitics (RCP) average for a 2024 national Republican primary, based on polls conducted between Aug. 24 and Sept. 4, indicates Trump is leading the crowded field by nearly 40 points, followed by DeSantis at 13.9%, Ramaswamy at 6.8%, Haley at 5.9%, Pence at 4.9% and Christie at 3.2%. All other 2024 hopefuls garnered less than 3% support.

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