GOP 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.”
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“We will say a prayer for each of the beautiful families they left behind, who’s 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, is set to visit the World Trade Center, and released a statement on his official Twitter account honoring the lost lives.
“Twenty-two years ago, nineteen terrorists took 2,977 innocent lives in the deadliest attack against America in our history. We will never forget,” DeSantis wrote.
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.
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“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.”
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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.”
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 former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 3.2%. All other 2024 hopefuls garnered less than 3% support.
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