President Joe Biden has delivered a prerecorded address commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The six-minute speech was released by The White House on Friday, ahead of Biden’s trip to New York City Saturday morning, where he will attend an annual memorial ceremony at Ground Zero.
Biden began his address by telling Americans ‘not the be afraid’ and telling a story about his childhood friend, Davis Sezna, whose son perished inside the World Trade Center.
‘I’m thinking about my friend Davis, who I grew up with in Delaware. On this day, 20 years ago, he and his family had just past the first year without the youngest of their three sons, Teddy, who died in a boating accident at the age of 13,’ the President stated.
‘His eldest son, Davis Jr., was just six days into a new job on the 104th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center.’
Biden recalled speaking to his friend in the days after 9/11, bonding ‘as fathers who know’ about trauma and loss.
The President lost his first wife, Nelia, and young daughter, Naomi, in a car crash in 1972.
President Joe Biden has delivered a pre-recorded address commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks
‘I was on my way to speak to students at the University of Delaware about what to make of the new world we were in. He told me to tell people, ‘Don’t be afraid”
‘The absolute courage it took after two unimaginable losses is extraordinary.’
Davis Sezna Jr. was just 22 years old when he was killed on September 11, 2001.
His father, Davis Sezna Sr. told Golf Digest that he receives a phone call from Biden every year on 9/11.
The pair have known each other for 50 years and are close friends – despite Sezna saying he has more conservative political beliefs.
Davis Sezna Jr. (left) was just 22 years old when he was killed on September 11, 2001. His father, Davis Sezna Sr. (right), told Golf Digest that he receives a phone call from Biden every year on 9/11.
Smoke pours from the twin towers of the World Trade Center after they were hit by two hijacked airliners in a terrorist attack September 11, 2001
Biden recalled speaking to his friend in the days after 9/11, bonding as ”as fathers who know’ about trauma and loss
The President then used his speech to directly address the families of the 2977 people who lost relatives in the attacks, stating: ‘America and the world commemorate you and your loved ones.’
‘It’s so hard, whether it’s the first year or the 20th,’ Biden emotionally stated.
‘Children have grown up without parents, and parents have suffered without children. Husbands and wives have had to find ways forward without their partners in their life with them. No matter how much time has passed, these commemorations bring everything painfully back as if you just got the news a few days ago.’
Biden went on to urge unity – recalling that America came together in the days and weeks following the horrifying attacks.
‘Unity is what makes us who we are, America at its best. To me, that’s the central lesson of September 11th.’
Biden went on to urge unity – recalling that America came together in the days and weeks following the horrifying attacks. ‘Unity is what makes us who we are, America at its best. To me, that’s the central lesson of September 11th.’
The President received mixed reviews for the speech after it was uploaded on both The White House Twitter and Facebook pages.
‘This is what a leader does!’ one impressed viewer cooed.
However, others were left less than impressed by the address – coming on the heels of his withdrawal from Afghanistan.
‘I’m sorry but on the 20th anniversary following a disastrous withdrawal I think we deserve a live speech,’ one stated.
‘6 minute video of two cameras switching alternately was disturbing. This is the best the White House can do? So lame,’ another concurred.
Comments were turned off beneath the video after it was posted on the White House YouTube channel.
President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden are seen at the Ground Zero memorial alongside disgraced former NY Gov Andrew Cuomo at last year’s anniversary ceremony
Biden will attend the annual memorial ceremony at Ground Zero on Saturday morning.
The ceremony honors the 2,983 people killed in the attacks at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, aboard Flight 93, and those who died in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to the 9/11 Memorial & Museum.
The focus of this year’s commemoration will be the reading of the names of the deceased by family members.
The ceremony will also observe six moments of silence, acknowledging when each of the World Trade Center towers was struck and fell and the times corresponding to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash of Flight 93.
The program is slated to begin at 8.30am Saturday, with the first moment of silence taking place at 8.46am.
The annual Tribute in Light will also shine into the sky over lower Manhattan from dusk to dawn on Saturday.
Members of the public pay their respects at the 9/11 Memorial in New York on Sept. 10, 2021
Consul General of Poland in New York Adrian Kubicki (right) and Krzysztof Szczerski (left), Polish ambassador to the United Nations, lay a wreath of the Polish victims at the 9/11 memorial
Retired California Firefighter Dave Allan pays his respects at the 9/11 memorial
Allan looks up at the Freedom Tower, built in the years following the 9/11 terrorist attacks
People visit the 9/11 memorial in Lower Manhattan ahead of the anniversary on Saturday
People pay their respects at the 9/11 memorial in Lower Manhattan, New York. September 10 2021. Tomorrow marks the 20th anniversary of the terror attacks which killed 2,996 people
American Airlines staff lay a floral tribute for the victims of flight 77 at the South Tower 9/11 memorial in Lower Manhattan
Members of the public pass flowers left at the 9/11 Memorial in New York on Sept. 10, 2021
The One World Trade Center is reflected on a nearby building ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in Manhattan on Sept. 10, 2021