As RedState noted earlier, the Biden White House raised eyebrows Monday with a pretty incredible excuse for why Joe Biden was opting to spend September 11th in Alaska instead of New York City, the latter of which was the site of the 9/11/01 attacks on the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center and which is where presidents have typically commemorated the anniversary until now.
“The analogy that I was given,” Fox News White House correspondent Doocy reported, “is that 22 years after Pearl Harbor, U.S. presidents were not still going to visit Hawaii.”
Even if true, it was a pretty disrespectful answer to give, especially given the anger that family members of some of the 9/11 victims are feeling over Biden’s decision to skip out on attending the memorial event in the first place.
The fact of the matter, though, is that U.S. presidents were in fact still visiting Hawaii decades after the Pearl Harbor attack.
Case in point, here’s then-President George H.W. Bush in Hawaii on the 50th anniversary in December 1991:
— Jorge Bonilla (@BonillaJL) September 11, 2023
Here’s a link to the speech he gave that day. Excerpts:
And so, look behind you at battleship row — behind me, the gun turret still visible, and the flag flying proudly from a truly blessed shrine.
Look into your hearts and minds: You will see boys who this day became men and men who became heroes.
Look at the water here, clear and quiet, bidding us to sum up and remember. One day, in what now seems another lifetime, it wrapped its arms around the finest sons any nation could ever have, and it carried them to a better world.
May God bless them.
And may God bless America, the most wondrous land on Earth.
Here’s then-President John F. Kennedy visiting in June 1963, nearly 22 years after the attack:
Today the country marks the anniversary of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor. In 1963, President Kennedy visited the USS Arizona Memorial and laid a wreath for those who perished in the surprise attack.
📷: https://t.co/M3olhe5YQJ pic.twitter.com/9ciztdQfuP
— JFK Library (@JFKLibrary) December 7, 2020
The below video is from JFK’s arrival:
Unfortunately, Kennedy was assassinated in November of that same year.
On a related note, 71 years after the Battle of Gettysburg, then-President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave a speech at the site. And four years later, in 1938, he was on hand to speak at the dedication of the Gettysburg memorial:
As another Twitter user observed, these “places don’t stop being important” no matter who the president is.
But then again, as we’ve noted before, Biden’s penchant for being absent when his presence would matter most to affected communities also applies to contemporary events, like the aftermath of the Maui fires, which he originally blew off with a “no comment” answer on the rising death toll ahead of going vacation, being one notable example.
Not to mention the pathetic excuses Biden himself has given for why he has still not visited the site of the East Palestine, Ohio train derailment seven months after it happened.
I remember reading an article during the 2020 presidential primary campaign season that talked about how those closest to Joe Biden would chalk his flubs and gaffes up to just “Joe being Joe.” Apparently, that same rule also applies to Biden when it comes to being there for the American people, except in the examples noted in this piece, it’s just “Joe being AWOL.”
For a different perspective on this, please make sure to check out my colleague Matt Dempsey’s piece on the VIP side: Biden Remembers 9/11 With Troops in Alaska: Is This Disrespectful?
Flashback: Reporter Smoothly Corrects Karine Jean-Pierre Over Preposterous Biden ‘Busy Schedule’ Claim